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Honolulu

KGMB-KHNL Sports Anchor Switching to News

“Hawaii News Now” has announced sports director Chris Tanaka will be switching from sports to news.

Tanaka will take over for current 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. anchor Shawn Ching. The station said Ching is leaving “Hawaii News Now” next Friday to concentrate full-time on his law career. “Hawaii News Now” is the branding for Honolulu’s CBS affiliate KGMB and NBC affiliate KHNL.

“Though Shawn Ching is difficult to replace, we are confident that Chris can fill his shoes on our top-rated broadcasts,” said KGMB-KHNL news director Mark Platte. “In the two years he has been with us, Chris has proven to be a gifted and intelligent anchor who can think on his feet.”

[Honolulu Star Advertiser]

Ron Mizutani Returns to Honolulu’s KHON

Former KHON reporter and anchor Ron Mizutani is returning to the Honolulu Fox affiliate, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

Mizutani left last year for a job in public relations. In a statement, he said reporting “has been a part of my professional life for nearly three decades and continues to be a passion.”

“It hit me hard on Dec. 17, the day Sen. Inouye died. I was overwhelmed with emotion and I felt this intense desire to tell Sen. Inouye’s life story,” Miztuani said in a statement. “It was on that day that I said to myself, ‘I tried something new and enjoyed my experience, but I’m a reporter. I need to follow my heart.’”

This is the second time Mizutani will return to the station after leaving for a public relations job. He has worked at KHON for nearly 28 years.

Kristina Lockwood Named GM at KHON

Kristina Lockwood has been named president and general manager of KHON, LIN Media’s Fox affiliate in Honolulu.

It is a return to KHON for Lockwood, who has previously served as the station’s national sales manager. In her new role, she will also be responsible for KHON-D2, Honolulu’s CW affiliate.

“We are excited to have Kristina back at KHON-TV. She is an outstanding broadcast executive with strong roots in Honolulu,” LIN Media Television EVP Scott Blumenthal said in announcing the hire. “Her unique blend of sales experience in both television and digital media, leadership skills and strong relationships make her an ideal candidate for this position and for advancing our key initiatives.”

Most recently, Lockwood was the director of sales statewide for Cox Media’s California division. She replaces Joe McNamara, who exited KHON last week.

General Manager Joe McNamara Out at KHON

KHON president and general manager Joe McNamara has parted ways with the Honolulu Fox affiliate, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

McNamara had been the station’s general manager since 2006. KHON, previously owned by New Vision Television, was purchased in May by LIN Media.

No successor was immediately named, but LIN Media will “be naming someone here very quickly,” EVP for television Scott Blumenthal told the Star-Advertiser.

Grace Lee to Anchor Hawaii News Now Morning Show

Earlier today we reported Bay Area media blogger Rich Lieberman was saying Grace Lee was leaving KPIX.

Confirmation of Grace Lee‘s (pictured center) departure from the San Francisco CBS owned station has come from her new station, Hawaii News Now.

News director Mark Platte confirmed Lee will anchor the station’s morning news show “Sunrise.”  Lee began working for KGMB in 2002 before leaving for KCRA in Sacramento.  She returned to KGMB in 2007 to launch “Sunrise.”  She left again in 2010 to join KPIX as an anchor and reporter. Read more

Rob DeMello Promoted to Sports Director at KHON

Rob DeMello has been promoted to sports director at KHON, the Fox-affiliate in Honolulu.

Kanoa Leahey, who has been the station’s weekday evening sports anchor since 2004, will remain with the station but transition to part-time, allowing him to continue to provide local play-by-play coverage to ESPN, which he began doing two years ago.

“I am both extremely excited for Kanoa, and incredibly honored to be given this opportunity,” DeMello said in a statement. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the position and for those who have held it before me.” Read more

Meteorologist Jennifer Robbins Joins KGMB-KHNL

Jennifer Robbins begins this week as a meteorologist at KGMB-KHNL in Honolulu.

Robbins comes from KABC in Los Angeles, where she was a weather producer for chief meteorologist Dallas Raines. Prior to that, she was an on-air meteorologist and environmental reporter at KBOI in Boise.

Robbins will be a reporter on the morning newscast and a meteorologist on the weekends.

Yunji de Nies Joins KITV From ABC News

Yunji de Nies, who has been a correspondent for ABC News since 2006, is returning to her native Hawaii for a job at KITV in Honolulu.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” de Nies told the Honolulu Star Advertiser of her return to Hawaii. “I just didn’t think it would happen so soon.”

de Nies begins September 10 as co-anchor of the 6 p.m. newscast alongside Paula Akana and the 10 p.m. newscast alongside Kenny Choi. She will also do some reporting for the ABC-affiliated KITV. At ABC News, she was an Atlanta-based correspondent who covered the Southeast region across all the network’s platforms.

KITV Traffic Anchor Yasmin Dar Moves to KVAL

Yasmin Dar has been hired as the newest anchor at KVAL, the CBS-affiliate in Eugene, OR.

Dar is the traffic anchor at KITV, the ABC-affiliate in Honolulu. According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, KVAL news director Sean Flanagan saw Dar on KITV while he was vacationing in Hawaii.

“We believe that Yasmin will bring a unique dynamic to our newscast that will resonate with our viewers,” he said in a memo to KVAL staff.

Dar’s last day at KITV will be August 17. She will anchor the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts at KVAL starting August 30.

Taizo Braden Set to Join KHON in Honolulu

Taizo Braden is joining KHON, the Fox-affiliate in Honolulu, as a video journalist.

“We are excited to have Taizo join the team,” news director Lori Silva said in a statement. “With his on-air experience, we think he will make an immediate impact.”

Braden was most recently a traffic reporter at rival KGMB, the Honolulu CBS-affiliate. He will begin at KHON on April 30. In his new role, he will prepare stories for newscasts as both a videographer and reporter, according to KHON.

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