Rick Quan remains fond of Hawaii


POSTED: Monday, September 07, 2009

If you tuned into KITV sports during the 1980s, chances are likely you were watching Rick Quan. For seven years, Quan was a familiar face on the local sports scene for KITV. Today, the Emmy award-winning anchor has his own successful production company in the San Francisco Bay area.

Quan hails from Houston, and always wanted to be involved in broadcasting. As a child, he often listened to Top 40 radio and was inspired to try to become a deejay. He majored in radio-TV-film at the University of Texas in Austin.

“;I thought it would be a fun job to be a disc jockey, but I later found television to be more interesting than radio,”; he said.

His first television break came in 1978 as a reporter and weekend anchor at the ABC affiliate in Jonesboro, Ark., where he became the first Chinese-American sports anchor in the United States.

In 1980, Quan came to Honolulu on vacation and heard of an opening at KITV for a weekend sports anchor to replace the departing Chris Allen.

“;It was great timing,”; Quan said.

For the next couple of years, Quan anchored the weekend sports at the station alongside anchor BJ Sams. In 1982, when sports anchor Paul Guanzon moved on, Quan became the full-time sports anchor for KITV, working with fellow Texans Tim Tindall and Lynne Waters.

“;Rick was a really good guy and a pleasure to work with; always upbeat, always willing to help, a constant 'I am prepared' presence on the set, which I really appreciated,”; said Waters. “;He performed on a level way beyond his young years.

“;The sports department was sort of a one-man band then, and he did it all,”; Waters said. “;Shot stuff, edited highlights, wrote all his copy; he was a versatile talent, and I am sure those skills translated into his future mainland-based success.”;

DURING THE 1980s, when Honolulu had only three news stations, the competition was fierce with seasoned sportscasters.

“;You measured yourself against (Les) Keiter, (Gary) Sprinkle and (Jim) Leahey,”; said Quan, who was named Hawaii's sportscaster of the year in 1983.

“;Honolulu was a great place to learn, to establish myself as a journalist, how to put together stories, and covering high school and college sports gave me a good foundation to build on,”; Quan said.

He has fond memories of his days in Hawaii covering Pro Bowls, UH sports and even getting some screen time on episodes of “;Charlie's Angels”; and “;Magnum P.I.”; In 1980 the “;Charlie's Angels”; premiere was filmed in Hawaii, and Quan was an extra along with his KITV colleague Emme Tomimbang.

He also played with the likes of tennis star John McEnroe, the late Farrah Fawcett and Sonny Bono in a celebrity tennis tournament on Maui.

In 1987, Quan was hired to report and anchor sports at KPIX, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco. He saw San Francisco as an opportunity to overcome barriers and become one of the few Asian men working on air in a major city.

“;The best thing about the Bay Area is the abundance of things to do here, the diversity of cultures and, as far as sports goes, having so many sports teams to cover,”; he said.




        Rick Quan Productions
        » www.rickquanproductions.com



While at KPIX he was one of the first Asian men in San Francisco to anchor full time. During his 21 years at KPIX, Quan covered Super Bowls, World Series and Final Fours. He reported on the San Francisco 49ers championship in Miami for Super Bowl XXIX, as well as Stanford's 1998 run to the Final Four in San Antonio. Quan earned two local Emmys, was named best local television anchor by the Alameda Newspaper Group and, in 2000, was named Media Person of the Year by the Northern California Arthritis Foundation.

IN 2008, Quan left KPIX and started his own production company, Rick Quan Productions.

“;I found it's a way for me to keep using my reporting skills and have a personal affect in people's lives,”; he said.

His job is to deliver to clients an array of broadcast choices, ranging from real estate infomercials to promotional videos and documentaries showcasing sports teams or individual athletes.

“;There is not one thing I specialize in,”; he said.

Quan continues to visit Honolulu with his wife, Colette, an Aiea High School graduate. He caught up with his former co-workers Tomimbang and Waters during a trip back to the islands in June.

And his love for sports remains strong. In addition to his production work, he maintains a Web site recognizing Asian-American athletes at http://www.asianamericansports.com, where he has profiled Oakland A's star catcher Kurt Suzuki and many others.