Karen Larsen currently anchors the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts and afternoon news updates on 2 Works for You. Her work on these newscasts and other special projects has earned five Emmy awards, honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, as well as national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTNDA).
Since joining KJRH 2 Works for You in May of 1996, Karen has devoted her career to covering news throughout Northeastern Oklahoma with an emphasis on breaking news, health and early childhood education issues. As a dedicated journalist, she writes and produces the 2 Works for You afternoon updates as well as writes and edits video for the special reports she provides for the 5 p.m. newscast.
Karen has produced, written and hosted award-winning documentaries dedicated to health issues. "2 for the Cure: Life Stories" focused on three women battling breast cancer. She followed that effort with another documentary on four people fighting four types of cancer. These programs have won state, regional and national awards; including the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award from the RTNDA. "They are truly inspiring, courageous women whom I am proud to know," Karen said. "In fact, they offered tremendous support and encouragement during my own mother's fight with breast cancer."
In addition to health issues, Karen spent an entire year producing and writing the documentary, "Shaking the Silence: Prevention, Awareness and Education of Shaken Baby Syndrome." Larsen and talented photojournalists from KJRH followed a young father from arrest to conviction to the day he reported to prison for fracturing the skull of his girlfriend's baby. The documentary team also followed two young parents struggling to cope with their baby's brain damage and health challenges after his babysitter shook him violently and dropped him in his crib. The Parent-Child Center of Tulsa, regional hospitals and several high schools utilized the documentary to help raise awareness of the danger of shaking a vulnerable baby. "Shaking the Silence" won Best Documentary awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters.
Karen was raised in California, then returned to her family's roots in Oklahoma. Just ask, and she will proudly tell you that her great-great grandparents came to Oklahoma Territory by covered wagon and settled in the southwestern part of the state. Her great-grandmother was born in Mountain View before statehood. "My grandfather, Brian Jenkins, was born in 1918 and raised in Fort Cobb and Healdton. He used to tell me the story of riding the rails back to his beloved Oklahoma after the family moved to California during the Dust Bowl era," Karen added.
She is married to Dennis, a Tulsa Police Deputy Chief, and together they take great pride in their three children. When she finds a spare moment, Karen enjoys home improvement projects, gardening, reading books of any genre and searching out antique treasures.