COURTESY LYNNE WATERS
Lynne Waters, originally from Texas, co-anchored the news with Tim Tindall at KITV for three years.
Waters covered Hawaii, Hawaiians
Lynne Waters arrived in Hawaii in December 1980 on vacation, fell in love with the islands and began to learn the culture, language and people that make our islands so special.
During that trip, Waters took a tour of KITV's studio with a friend, which led to an interview for the vacant co-anchor position with Jack Hawkins. "I was just at the right place at the right time," she said.
Waters, then 23, was hired at the TV station and began working as co-anchor on KITV's 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. newscasts with Hawkins. Don Rockwell, who was KITV's news director at the time, said of Waters, "I thought she was sensational and so did (General Manager) Dick Grimm. She was an absolute delight to work with and a wonderful person who would light up any room she entered."
She went back home to Texas to pack for her move to Hawaii, which was delayed by a reporters strike, and "waited for the phone call to tell me the strike had ended so I could then report for work."
After the strike ended, Waters became Honolulu's sole weekday female anchor. She spent 18 months co-anchoring with Hawkins and three years with Honolulu news veteran Tim Tindall.
Major news stories Waters covered for KITV as anchor or reporter between 1981 and 1985 included the 1981 Air Traffic controllers strike, Hurricane Iwa in 1982, the Big Island earthquake in 1983, Kahoolawe bombing protests and land rights issues with the County of Hawaii. She won awards from the Hawaii Medical Association for her news stories on medical quackery, in addition to receiving an American Bar Association award for her news features on insanity pleas in criminal cases.
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Waters, shown at her Ahiumanu home with her gelding Lucky, is now head of her own media and public affairs consulting business.
Waters flew with the Blue Angels in 1983, co-hosted statehood jubilee celebrations for KITV in 1984, interviewed "South Pacific" star Rossano Brazzi and covered renowned ballet star Rudolf Nureyev's visit to Hawaii, Molokai Hoe races and neighbor island makahiki events.
This Baylor University broadcast journalism graduate from Tyler, Texas, went on to arguably cover more local news stories on the Hawaiian movement than anyone else has, before or since. Waters covered news stories on all the islands, including Molokai and Big Island residents' struggle with hotel and real estate land developers, as well as the Navy and the Protect Kahoolawe Ohana consent decree, which became an important step in ending the bombing on Kahoolawe.
In 1981, Waters and cameraman Terry Hunter became the first media crew to gain legal access onto Kahoolawe. One of these trips resulted in a KITV news special titled "Kahoolawe: The Way Home," which captured the emotions and spirit of the Hawaiian movement. The story gave viewers a glimpse into aspects of our islands rarely covered.
Waters, now in a position to offer advice to young journalists interested in pursuing broadcasting, said, "Get an internship at the local station while you're still in school; it was an advantage for me, as I was one of the few in my graduating class with actual on-the-job experience working in television.
"Ninety percent of succeeding is being in the right place at the right time, being prepared for work and doing the necessary legwork involved in that profession."
COURTESY LYNNE WATERS
The news crew: Larry Price, left, Lynne Waters, Tim Tindall and Rick Quan in the early '80s.
Waters left KITV in 1985 to pursue other interests and projects, including long-format documentaries such as "The Hawaiians" on PBS Hawaii; hosting KHET's "Dialog" series; covering politics on "Capital Spotlight"; hosting telethons; and managing public relations for the Hawaii International Film Festival.
Today, Waters is married to state Sen. Clayton Hee and has her own business, Lynne Waters Communications, a media and public affairs consulting business. Her clients range from state agencies to local TV stations, hospitals and politicians.
It's her company's mission to make Hawaii a better place for generations to come.
"I have a passion to work with people who promote social change in Hawaii, that we strive to maintain Hawaiian culture, affordable housing, improved salary and education," she said.
Waters' projects continue to enhance the life of the people of Hawaii. She recently served as a chairwoman of the 'Aha Punana Leo benefit dinner honoring Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa. She's also working with state Department of Education Schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto and Emme Tomimbang's production company, Emme Inc.
She's also working close to home, gearing up this election year to help with her husband's re-election campaign.
A.J. McWhorter, a collector of film and videotape cataloging Hawaii's TV history, has worked as a producer, writer and researcher for both local and national media. His column runs once a month. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org