Mizutani returning to KHON
reporter and anchor Ron Mizutani will return to the station March 17 after a stint in corporate communications for Hawaiian Telcom
"We wanted him back here in the worst way," said Joe McNamara, KHON's president and general manager. His former co-workers had been expressing a great desire for his return.
Mizutani is "certainly a multitalented and multifaceted individual," and while his role has yet to be determined, "we are going to work on finding the best fit for Ron ... and our viewers," McNamara said. He announced Mizutani's return to the staff yesterday.
Mizutani had signed a non-compete agreement with KHON before resigning to join Hawaiian Telcom as vice president of corporate communications last year. The agreement would have essentially prevented him from working on-camera for another TV station for an unspecified amount of time. He did get offers "in and out of broadcasting," McNamara said. Nevertheless, after a 22-year career at KHON, Mizutani's heart was at the station, McNamara said.
Mizutani, who resigned from the phone company for personal reasons, repeatedly said that he is "grateful" for the opportunity to rejoin KHON.
"Being away really taught me that (the news business) is in my DNA," he said.
The Spencecliff "Family of Restaurants" Reunion is set for Aug. 23 at Hawaiian Hut, said Chantal Moearii Weaver, daughter of the late Spence Weaver, company co-founder.
Since news of the planned reunion broke in the Star-Bulletin last August, helpers have been coming out of the woodwork.
It is pretty well known that precious little can be accomplished in Hawaii without relationships.
Hawaiian Hut executive Gordon Yoshida is a former Spencecliff executive and the Hawaiian Hut itself was once run by Spencecliff, Weaver said.
"Who hasn't worked for a Spencecliff restaurant?" said Karen Keawehawaii to Weaver, a nod to the plethora of Polynesian performers who played at its many locations. Keawehawaii, Melveen Leed and longtime Barefoot Bar performer Varoa Tiki are among the many pledging help.
"It seems to be that everybody is willing to contribute -- even people who are not employees," Weaver said.
Intended as a thank-you to employees, the reunion -- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 -- may also serve as a launch pad for her larger vision of re-establishing Hawaiian and other Polynesian entertainment in Waikiki.
The reunion committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. today at Hungry Lion to plan more details.
Weaver plans a slide show to commemorate the more than 47 years Spencecliff was in business. At its peak, it employed some 1,500 people.
She hopes former employees will submit memorabilia for the slide show, to be displayed at the event, or both. Items will be labeled and returned, she said.
Reunion contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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