NightTime takes a break from prime time
Hawaii's first nightly talk show, "NightTime with Andy Bumatai," will leave the airwaves when its reruns end next Friday.
However, executive producer and host Andy Bumatai plans to return to KFVE-TV in January with a "Larry King Live" type format that will be shot and shown the same day, he told TheBuzz. It will be called "The Andy Bumatai Show."
"NightTime" was last taped earlier this summer.
The sponsorship slowdown and vendors' economic issues made it appear Bumatai would have to carry the show financially. "I can't afford that," he said.
He decided to conserve cash and come back "even stronger."
The show's ratings are fine and it had been profitable the last couple of months, but in his role as advertising salesman, "I'm knocking on doors ... and hearing doom and gloom across the board," Bumatai said.
"Were I a young man, I would charge ahead, spear in hand, but my experience tells me that if Napoleon knew how to retreat, we'd all be speaking French right now."
Some of that experience comes from being in the wireless phone retail business.
He had 22 employees, two Wireless Paradise stores on the Big Island and one on Oahu and was preparing to open a fourth when 9/11 happened.
"I'm going to hold on," he said at the time.
"By the time I was laying off (people) trying to save my company, it was too late," he said. "That's one of the business examples I'm applying now."
When the show returns it will not have the expense of a house band, much as he adored them.
Acoustics in the studio being built for him in the ING Direct building at 1958 Kalakaua Ave. are not suitable for a band.
Also, viewer e-mails taught him the audience liked the interviews best.
"It's the human interest stories, not so much watching someone up there juggle knives, but 'how did you become a knife-juggler and what effect did that have on your family?' " Bumatai said.
Topical humor also was difficult to include under the production schedule.
"I shot these shows five at a time in one day. The first show would be shot on Monday but would not air until Friday ... so when we get to show five, it airs a week-and-a-half after I shoot it."
The same-day format will enable him to "hold up a newspaper and say, 'Did you see this?' "
Hopefully he'll be holding a Star-Bulletin.
The 9:30 p.m. weekday time slot will be filled by entertainment news show "Extra" beginning Sept. 29. "We think that's a good first-run show to come out of our newscast," said John Fink, KFVE/KHNL vice president and general manager.
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