Erika Engle

Thursday, January 13, 2005

News Director Dan
Dennison leaving KHON,
contract not renewed


Friday, January 14, 2005

» Sun Cha "Sue" Chang, the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association's Housekeeper of the Year, works at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. A story on Page C6 yesterday mislabeled the hotel as the Aston at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at corrections@starbulletin.com.

EMMIS Communications Corp., the Indiana-based parent company of Hawaii's KGMB-TV and KHON-TV, ranks No. 74 on this year's Fortune magazine 100 Best Places to Work list.

The company announced the ranking Tuesday, but in an odd twist of timing, two local journalists are leaving Emmis' employ, company officials said yesterday.

KHON News Director Dan Dennison said he will leave the top-rated station in March, when his contract is up. The pact is not being renewed.

It's not about ratings, but about leadership style, Dennison said.

Rick Blangiardi, Emmis' Hawaii market senior vice president and general manager, called it a tough decision.

"I have a lot of respect for Dan personally and professionally and I wouldn't be making this call if I didn't think it was the right thing to do at this point in time," he said.

The search for a replacement begins immediately.

Dennison will guide the KHON news department through the February ratings period and said he will assist in any transition.

Once that's done, "After you live in Hawaii and Colorado you're pretty picky about where you live. I don't see myself landing in Newark," Dennison said.

Meanwhile, KGMB reporter Rob Young has announced his departure for Centex Destination Properties, the real estate sales company that also lured former KITV anchor Dan Cooke to its Ko Olina luxury homes and villas operations last year.

Young's last day on TV will be tomorrow. He will at first commute to Centex's Waikoloa operations on the Big Island, while bride and former KGMB weather anchor Brit Riedl tends to their infant daughter Calla on Oahu.

News Director Tauna Lange told Young he would always have a job at KGMB.

Blangiardi called Young's departure a loss, "but it sounds like an incredible opportunity for him."

Best workers named

The Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association named Danilo "Danny" Balantac, a bell attendant at the Aston Pacific Monarch hotel in Waikiki, the Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year yesterday. He and nine others were recognized at the association's Na Po'e Pa'ahana (the hardworking people) Awards luncheon at the Sheraton-Waikiki Hotel.

The other awardees were Mary "Swanee" Rillanos of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as Bell/Valet Person of the Year; Sandi Maruyama of the JW Marriott Ihilani as Concierge of the Year; Ronald Carpenter of the Kauai Marriott Resort a Engineering/Maintenance Person of the Year; Jennie Payne of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows as Food & Beverage Person of the Year; Pamie Sato of the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki as Front Office Person of the Year; Sun Cha "Sue" Chang of the Aston at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach as Housekeeper of the Year, Chi Mok of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort as Security Officer of the Year; Wayne Chun of the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui as Recreation Person of the Year; Fred Duerr of the Kona Village Resort as Manager of the Year.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: eengle@starbulletin.com

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