Small Talk

What I'll miss about news

October 21st, 2009

Here goes my list of things I'll miss about my life in a newsroom. This list is culled from past and present, not just my current stint on mornings.

1) Seeing my wonderful friends every day.

2) Telling cool stories. I like to entertain and inform.

3) Meeting some really, really nifty people on stories, or who come in to be morning guests.



4) Correcting my former co-anchor/work husband Paul Drewes' pronounciation of words and names harder than "Smith." Informing the producers to give me that story instead of him. Writing in a pronouncer for him and then reminding him of it shortly before it came up.

Me and Paul

Me and Paul

5) Ribbing my current co-anchor Dash about anything and everything, especially on Thursdays when Cat Toth and I double team against him, on her guest segment. Like his love for Hannah Montana.

dog guest

6) The time the pony was in the studio and kicked a hole in the set because it got spooked. I was looking at the blooper reel the other day and I literally laid down on the floor and rolled around holding my sides because it was so funny.

7) The time the light stand fell over in the old building's loft, and because nobody noticed it, and it's hot, it burned a hole in the wall and started a small fire. When I got to work the sudio doors were all open, several fans were full blast, and it smelled smoky.


8) Seeing Russ Yamanoha still there socializing with the morning crew. He was still there from his evening shift and I was just coming in to work on the morning show! Russ always makes me crack up.

9) The feral - or runaway? - rooster who lived briefly in the KHNL parking lot at the old Sand Island building. Nothing says Kalihi like a rooster at the newsplex.

10) When Duncan Armstrong and I flew to Thailand to cover the Banda Aceh tsunami damage. Duncan, from Colorado, is about as white as they come. He only eats meat and potatoes. He put ketchup on every single Thai dish we were served. He brought it over from America to ensure he would have his favorite brand.



11) Kicking back beers after a long election night with everyone at the station. Er, I mean, at a public area meant for the consumption of alcohol. Nothing like that would ever go on at our workplace.

Photogs on election night 2008

Photogs on election night 2008

12) Looking at reporter Darren Pai's super messy desk every day. Watching our old news director Dan Dennison get upset every time he passed it, because Dan was a neat freak. (Dan was proud of his tidiness, so if he's reading this, he's laughing.)

13) Reading dry, sarcastic e mails from former assignment editor, the awesome Garett Kamemoto. Thanks for always injecting humor into the day.

14) Wild news parties.

15) Teasing photographer Sisto Domingo by telling him our story for the day is to shoot Miss Hawaiian Tropic bikini pageant. Best way to get your photog out the door in 30 seconds. Or shooting the Miss Universe pageant in five minutes, but he took 3 hours to edit the story.

16) Pranking assignment editor/ fill-in weather guy (I know, strange hybrid) Sean Ibara by writing love letters to him from computers of people who left without logging off.

17) The time I zipped down my shirt while standing on set (before the show) without realizing someone was rolling tape for the blooper reel.

18) JT's Star Wars figurine collection, which he meticulously set up on the shared technicians' desk every day before his shift.

19) Calling reporter Minna Sugimoto "Minner," a la Brooklyn accent.

20) When reporter Roger Mari made a suggestion that evolved into a humorous Fight Card for News Ladies. We seeded brackets and everything. Web reporter Cindy Cha was deemed the winner.

21) Photographer Ericon Cristobal's narcolepsy. He would fall asleep in the cutter and we could hear him snoring while we were on set.


22) The Superbowl bet between my then-weekend co-anchors Paul Drewes and Stephen Florino. Loser was supposed to deliver the news without pants. Stephen lost, but reneged. Who'd have known? You don't see what's under the desk!

23) When then weekend weather anchor Tom Birchard fell off his chair. On air! He was trying to walk and talk from the weather wall back to the desk but he misjudged, and sat only half his butt on the seat, which slid out from under him.

24) Then-technician Paul Nickel rushing through the last 10 seconds of the countdown to air, because he always stopped paying attention then had to rush through the last seconds.

25) Producer Brian Sinclair's Best Prank Ever played on me. The show was pre-empted but nobody told me, so they made like we were live and they screwed up every single story for five minutes to try and mess me up.

26) Assignment editor Garett Kamemoto's dry wit:

From: Kamemoto, Garett
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 9:20 AM

To: All KHNL News

Subject: A word of advice
The fax machine typically works better when it’s plugged in. Please be careful around the machine. It was unplugged (not acoustic) when I got in this morning. I managed to solve the problem though it did test the limit of my skills.


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Posted in Career | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “What I'll miss about news”

  1. hemajang:

    Great memories Miss Diane...but we'll see you again on air right?

  2. theDman:

    I would like to hear more about point number 14.

  3. maxcat:

    Awww Diane, sweet, sweet column and you made me a lil teary eyed. In the military I used to move every three or four years and I always missed the people and it was so bittersweet. Sounds like you worked with some great people. Anyway here is a lil present, a sound track to go with your blog from music done well before you were born ...

  4. CatDogMan:

    It's beginning to feel real now that the station is closing down. As I watched your morning news show this morning and you starting to say goodbye to regular guests, it really struck home. I'm sure you will land on your feet somewhere. You do a really great job with the news. Losing you is a big loss for news in Hawaii.

  5. Rosette:

    life has many chapters.....

  6. Diane Ako:

    Maxcat, thank you. I like Elton John! What an appropriate song 🙂

    Cat Dog Man, thank you too. It's been a great career, but I'm ready for new challenges. I am not pursuing work in tv, news, or tv news. I'm not shutting the door, but I'm not sending out my resumes or calling other stations. It's not about being angry or bitter. It's just that news is not a family-friendly lifestyle, and I was planning to quit next year to spend more time with my daughter. To be laid off now simply accelerated my plans by 6 months - it's fine. I enjoyed this show and I will miss my friends here.

  7. 9th Island Girl:

    That's a good attitude to have, Diane, and what you say is true: time you miss spending with your daughter is time you can never recapture. Good luck to you.

  8. gombei:

    And we will miss you Diane!!! =(

  9. maxcat:


    Think you aleady know this, but I am sure there are more good things to come. I had 27 absolutely incredible years in the AF retiring in Hawai'i (after four assignments there). Then I had a very different, but in many ways equally as incredible second career in Hawai'i. Plenty of good things are still out there for you. I know that, you do too even if it isn't totally clear right now.

  10. Rosette:

    yes in life you make pages...each turn you make a story...

  11. che:


    Judging from the picture you had your last day already. Sorry I missed it but I normally don't get to watch the morning news. Good luck.

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