By Dave Donnelly

Thursday, December 30, 1999

You read it here first

OUR inquiries into the behind-the-camera machinations at KHON-TV, as noted here yesterday, hastened management into calling a staff meeting yesterday to make the announcement before staffers read about it in the Star-Bulletin. G.M. Kent Baker had been unreachable (working on a budget) and news director Jim McCoy wouldn't confirm or deny anything. But the original Mug shotinquiry proved correct: Ron Mizutani will be leaving the morning news show to become sports director, replacing Bob Hogue, who is leaving the station. Mizutani began in the sports department there in 1989. Hogue still has a radio talk show on KCCN and since he was under contract, a paycheck from Channel 2 even without working, unless he hooks on somewhere else. For the moment at least, Leslie Wilcox will anchor the morning news solo, but reporter Linda Jamieson will be doing some in-the-field reports along with Manolo Morales, who may take to the anchor desk unless they decide to return Kirk Matthews to that slot, not now in their plans. Anchor Joe Moore, who returns from vacation this week, has been kept apprised of all the moves, according to Baker ...

THAT couple frequently seen pushing a baby stroller around Diamond Head is Jeanne and Gene Axelrod. No, they've not become parents. They use the stroller to take their 19-year-old dog, Fairway, for an outing. Fairway, who was discovered by Axelrod on a golf course when he was a puppy, is so incapacitated that his back legs no longer work, but the Axelrods found a solution to get him out and get some exercise themselves ...

Double duty

STAR 101.9 D.J. Hudson will be one of a relative few folks who'll be celebrating the arrival of the Year 2000 twice this year. She'll be traveling to Guam with her husband, Joe Rock Star leader Steve Hott, to celebrate the New Year there. Then they jet back to Honolulu and rush down to Gordon Biersch, where Hott will perform. A few other bands are doing the two-time-zone routine, but very few. Hudson also plans to get into the act by calling her station from Guam with New Year reports and will celebrate New Year's at the Hard Rock Cafe here, joining her new hubby sometime after midnight. What the heck, one New Year's kiss together should be enough ...

ALL the members of 'N Sync are fans of comic Howie Mandel, so they and an entourage of 54 piled into the Sheraton-Waikiki to see Howie's show this week. Even Britney Spears, the singer/girlfriend of Sync'er Justin Timberlake was there. Also in to see Mandel was Hollywood producer Garry Marshall and his son, Scot, who produced Howie's new movie, "Spin Cycle." ... The senior Marshall also stopped by the Kahala Mandarin lobby lounge after dinner at Hoku's and listened to Loretta Ables and pianist Betty Loo Taylor. Loretta describes him as one of the nicest celebrities she's met ...

Awesome or awful?

THE group 'N Sync may not be to your musical taste, but their shows at the Blaisdell Arena tonight, Friday and Saturday nights, should be awe- inspiring. Promoter Tom Moffatt stood opened-mouthed watching the rigging necessary for the group's spectacular show being put into place. He says it's easily the biggest rigging ever in the arena. This from the guy who's seen it all, including the Rolling Stones and their bridge extending into the crowd at Aloha Stadium. Should be a biggie! ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

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