Changing news angles -- and a fish tale
VETERAN reporter Darren Pai is leaving KHNL-TV for a job that will put him on the other side of the reporter notebook.
It is the role another former reporter, Peter Rosegg, has been filling of late.
Doing interviews about sea grass was "not what I wanted to be famous for," Rosegg quipped.
Pai has been hired as Hawaiian Electric Co. senior communications consultant, filling one of two vacancies there -- but with TV stations in ratings for the past month, he couldn't jump ship until the Nielsens were over.
KHNL News Director Dan Dennison prevailed upon HECO to wait a little longer.
Pai's last day is March 14, which will give KHNL more time to find a new reporter. "Replacing (Pai's) knowledge and understanding of the market is not always easy to do," Dennison said.
Pai has been at KHNL almost 10 years and was previously a print reporter for both dailies for about four years.
"I'm at a point in my career when I'm looking for a change," he said.
It's a concept that came along with changing diapers as a new dad for the past year-and-a-half.
Being a reporter trying to pry information out of corporate communications types has, "given me an appreciation for not only the crisis management side of communications, but also maintaining relationships with the news media and how important it is to keep information accurate and timely," said Pai.
Fact o' fish
Cutting room floor fodder usually stays there, but this just can't.
There wasn't room for it in Friday's Buzz about McDonald's expansion of McCafes in Hawaii.
Your columnist's conversations with Mickey D's Hawaii Marketing Manager Melanie Okazaki usually yield a gem of heretofore unpublicized information and here's the latest: Hawaii tops the nation in sales of McDonald's Filet o' Fish sandwiches.
We're the No. 1 state in Spam consumption, too, in case you're new here.
The saucy fish sandwich received recent press with the advent of Lenten, because it was invented by a McDonald's operator in a predominantly Catholic region.
Business dropped drastically with his diners' ducking of beef, so the fish sandwich was offered to keep folks coming in. The fish sandwich hooked its own faithful and has been on McDonald's menu since 1962.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, 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: email@example.com