Get Jesse: KING TV reporter has game

Updated: April 2, 2013

By Steve Turcotte.
When people see Jesse Jones of Seattle’s KING television approaching, there could be trouble brewing. After all, Jones is the host of the “Get Jesse” segment on KING television, which takes on the role of consumer advocate and tries to right the wrongs of consumer injustice.

On this day, Jones approached without microphones and with some golf clubs on his back as he made his way toward the clubhouse at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club in Federal Way. I knew I was safe. At least on this day. There was no microphone stuck in my face and Jesse wanting me to explain any wrongdoings I had done to his viewers. This was about golf. Eighteen holes at Twin Lakes. A day where Jesse was taking a day off from chasing down the bad guys and playing a game he has played since his college football days at Montana State.

Jesse Jones is not only a captivating television personality, he is an athlete. He played fullback at Montana State and decided that golf was also one of his favorites. Football is long gone, but golf is front and center. “I just love the game said the 49-year-old Jesse. “I’ve started playing 25 years ago and loved it right away. My dad was in the service and would take me to Fort Lewis. I was hooked right away.”

Jones had game on the football field. And he has game on the golf course. He shot in the mid 80’s this day at Twin Lakes, but showed he has some accuracy and distance with his driver. Some soft hands around the green with his chipping game and can make some putts.

His best shot on this day – a ripped 190-yard 3-wood up a hill on the par-5 15th hole which carried the green and ended up on the 16th tee box.

He has played plenty of golf but there are a few rounds that stick out in his mind. The 71 he shot at Madrona Links in Gig Harbor was his lowest score but the 81 he shot from the tips at Aldaraa was a keeper and the 72 he shot at Tobacco Road in North Carolina was another of his best rounds.

Hole in one? No, not yet. Been close a couple of times. In fact, he blew out the cup on one shot and another time at the Classic his ball spun backward and hit the pin before it bounced away.

“My mother-in-law even has a hole-in-one and she never lets me hear the end of it,” said Jesse. “Everytime I see her she asks if I have one yet.”

Jesse’s 8-year-old daughter Cydney also has the golf bug. “She has he own clubs,” Jesse said. “we will go to the range, I will buy her a hot dog and strawberry lemonade and let her go to work. She loves it.”

On camera, Jones comes across with the kind of persona that everyone wants a piece of. In fact, during lunch after the round at Twin Lakes, it seem like everyone in the bar had to come up and meet Jesse, and of course, a few had their own Get Jesse stories.”

Jesse-Jones-swing-sequencesmallHe gets his stories for KING television and his Get Jesse segment from phone calls. His phone rings off the hook. He can’t chase down every story, but there are those he just can’t pass up.

• A viewer’s husband died in a motorcycle accident and left the wife and two kids. The accident occurred on the property at Fort Lewis and he was not at fault. The investigation took over a year and the wife had never received the insurance money. In stepped Jesse. After a week and a half on the story, he was able to view her insurance money.

• Another viewer’s husband died and had an outstanding loan at the time. They were supposed to be covered with insurance. She sent in the paperwork to get the loan covered but ran into a brick wall. Enter Jesse. He worked the phones and the women’s $30,000 loan went away.

• And of course, there are the numerous stories about contractors who don’t finish jobs, including one story that Jesse worked on that sent the contractor to prison.

• Another story dealt with a pastor stealing money from his own flock. Jesse worked the story long and hard and eventually the pastor was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Since he started the Get Jesse segment in 2008, the stories go on and on.

“You have to pick and choose the stories, you can’t help everyone,” said Jesse. “Our voicemail doesn’t hold over 100 and we’ve been full before. And the stories aren’t about the money or the amount. It’s about the principle and the chance to help people.”

Jesse has also had his share of health scares. He looks larger than life on television, but he has had a couple of cancer scares. In 2007 he was found to have a tumor in his kidney. Three weeks later the kidney was removed. Then in 2010 he had small tumors on his lung. He has beaten both scares.

Jesse started in the television business as a nighttime reception and teleprompter operator at Channel 11 in Seattle. He worked his way into a sports reporter job before he found out that news was his real calling. He took a job in Baltimore in 1993 before moving to Cincinnati for another news position in 2000. He wound up back in Seattle at KING television in 2005.

And in 2008, Get Jesse was born.

Now, about that signature sign off from each story . . . Jesse said it was something he got going in Cincinnati. He wanted to do something different one day to close out a story. “I wanted to show that I owned the story, so I came up with the close,” said Jesse. If you haven’t heard it, the close to the story goes something like this:

“JESSE JONES – KING/5 NEWS.” And notice the uppercase on the words. He seems genuinely excited when he says it at the close of each and every story.

“It’s something that fits my personality,’ he said. “I like it.”