PORTLAND, Ore. — Galen Ettlin is a national-award-winning journalist. He has traveled the world – and is back home in Oregon. He joined KGW in March 2020 as a multi-skilled journalist. You can catch him contributing stories across KGW’s digital and TV platforms and co-anchoring KGW News at 4 p.m.
Galen grew up in SE Portland in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood, and is thrilled be back home in the Rose City. He attended Franklin High School, where he learned Mandarin Chinese. His teacher, Marilyn Mi, inspired him to pursue language and broadcast journalism.
In addition to volunteering for the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Galen’s experience includes travel, school, and work in China, where he interned for two reality TV shows and appeared as a guest star. Galen later won an online Japanese singing competition before becoming a judge for it – and for Portland Teen Idol.
After earning top honors and two degrees at University of Oregon, Galen set off on his first TV adventure as a reporter in College Station, TX. He then returned to the PNW, picking up new skills as a newscast producer in Eugene.
A defining moment for Galen was at KAPP/KVEW-TV in Kennewick, WA. He became the station’s 6 p.m. weeknight anchor and producer, shooting his own stories and filling in to do weather forecasts. He made history as the market’s first openly LGBTQ broadcaster to cover stories of hate speech and community resilience, earning a Society of Professional Journalists award in his first year. His series featuring LGBTQ youth and people passing out graphic, religious flyers earned Galen a national GLAAD Media Award nomination – the only local-journalist nomination alongside the national TV networks.
Galen then took a leap of faith, moving 3,000 miles away from home to become one of the primary evening anchors at Vermont’s flagship TV station, WCAX. While there, he interviewed prominent figures such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, and even conducted an interview with a Chinese government official in Mandarin. His work covering mental health supports for students in Vermont and New Hampshire earned him a regional Emmy nomination in Boston.
His WCAX co-anchor, Céline McArthur, recruited Galen to join her in a year-long series covering the opioid crisis. Together, their work following a mother's journey through drug addiction and recovery earned them a national and regional Edward R. Murrow award for Continuing Coverage. The series also earned a regional Emmy nomination in Boston.
Galen credits the communities and people who have opened up to share their stories. He is all about connecting with you on social media, hearing your experiences, and answering your comments. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – or email GEttlin@kgw.com.