Another high-profile departure for Mizutani
Ron Mizutani resigned his position as vice president of corporate communications at Hawaiian Telcom
Monday -- a job he started Aug. 20 after more than 20 years as a reporter and anchor at KHON-TV
His departure, news of which spread through Honolulu like so much Internet wildfire, led to speculation about whether he will return to television.
"I miss the battles. I miss the story-telling more than I thought I would and I miss building relationships and just talking to people and making a difference to the community in that capacity," he said. He also misses "the guys and girls in the newsroom."
However, he doesn't have anything lined up right now.
"This is a total leap of faith. I'm just hopeful something comes up. In the meantime, I'll treasure every minute with my kids and my wife."
In leaving KHON, Mizutani signed a noncompete agreement of undisclosed length, meaning he cannot go to work for another TV station.
"I've got to honor my no-compete, so that is definitely an issue that I have to fulfill," he said yesterday.
Another station would need both the budget and the willingness to engage in legal battle to hire him, which, even in a victory, would likely keep him off-camera for a time.
Mizutani said he has not spoken with KHON about returning and station officials could not be reached for comment about the possibility.
The short Hawaiian Telcom stint was marked by high-visibility layoffs and less-than-rosy financial news, for which he served as spokesman. However, having to deliver difficult news was not the reason behind his decision, according to his farewell memo.
"The energy used to get the job done has taken me away from the people I love the most -- my wife and my three children. The decisive moment came two weeks ago when my daughter e-mailed me from school to say, 'Daddy I miss you,'" he wrote.
He met with Hawaiian Telcom Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Ruley Monday to tell him he was resigning effective immediately.
Ruley told TheBuzz that Mizutani was "putting a lot of hours in and working extremely hard. He just doesn't do anything halfway."
For someone with no experience in the telecom industry, Mizutani "came up to speed so quickly. He was well-respected from day one, and earned the respect with his enthusiasm and his work-ethic," Ruley said.
"He touched a lot of people here in a very short time" and "he'll be missed."
His five-month tenure at Hawaiian Telcom is dwarfed by his retired father's 39 years with the company that "took a chance on me, a reporter, anchor, whatever ... they were willing to give me a shot and for that I am grateful," Mizutani said.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org