Ken Tonning began his broadcasting career with ABC in New York in 1966, working in Network News Administration. In 1973, ABC transferred him to Atlanta as Southeast Sales Manager for their FM Radio Division. A year later, he joined WXIA-TV in Atlanta as an Account Executive. In 1980, he was promoted to Regional Sales Manager. In 1982, he was promoted to Local Sales Manager and in 1984 became Vice President/Local Sales Manager. In 1985, he moved to Denver to become General Sales Manager of K*USA-TV, was soon promoted to Vice President/Station Manager, the position he held until becoming Vice President/General Manager in June 1986, and President/General Manager in April 1987. He moved to Jacksonville, Florida in May 1989 as the President/General Manager of WTLV-TV and WJXX-TV, the Gannett-owned NBC and ABC stations, a position he held until November 2008. Ken moved to St. Petersburg and joined WTSP in November 2008 as President and General Manager. Ken retired from Gannett December 31, 2013 and currently lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Tonning is a founding member of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund. He is also a member of Copperhead Charities, Inc. which is an organizational partner for the Transitions PGA Tour golf tournament benefiting the Tampa and St. Petersburg area.
He is originally from New Jersey and is a graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Upon graduating, he spent two years of active overseas duty as an officer with the U.S. Army. He is recently widowed has three children: Kim, Bethany and Ken, Jr.