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New history book recaps history of Hawaii television


Local broadcast historian and former Island News staffer AJ McWhorter’s new book, “Honolulu Television,” sums up 65 years of television history in Hawaii, from the first day this state launched a local signal in 1952, to a major change in the TV landscape in 2009 when two affiliates merged into a duopoly. It describes KITV4’s inception on April 16, 1954 and our call letters at the time, KULA (whose roots were in radio.)

Hot off the press, the 127-page book tells the story of this visual medium most appropriately – using photographs to convey the message. There are some terrific photos of KULA building its new TV station in 1953, and an early group photo of the KULA team in 1955. It also traces KULA’s merge with KHVH (Channel 13) in 1958.

The book, released in January 2018, debuted at number one on Amazon’s new books in the categories of television and video engineering.

Our own weekday anchor team Paula Akana and Robert Kekaula are in a team photo from the 80s! Former Island News anchors and reporters Tim Tindall, Don Rockwell, Jim Leahey, Emme Tomimbang, Matt Levi, Paul Guanzon, Rick Quan, Larry Price, Lynne Waters, Russell Shimooka, Dick Allgire, Dan Cooke, Tina Shelton, Gary Sprinkle, Pamela Young, Rob Fukuzaki, Shari Shima, Jodi Leong, and more appear in the book as well.

McWhorter spent a year putting the book together. It’s a labor of love that was borne out of a big change in a different medium: print journalism. It was the fall of 2016, and he had just lost his Honolulu Star-Advertiser column after eight years of penning “Looking Back,” a monthly article that reflected on Hawaii’s media history and personalities.

“I still felt I had a couple of

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