Breaking Through  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   June 2003

Breaking Through   

Kent Ninomiya moves into a main TV anchor gig, one of the few Asian American men to do so.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     


Kent Ninomiya celebrates more than just the realization of a long-held career goal as he prepares to become a main anchor at KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities: He's one of the few Asian American men to ever get such an opportunity. "It's a testament to the courage of Hubbard Broadcasting and [General Manager] Ed Piette that they were willing to hire the best person for the job regardless of race," says Ninomiya, who turns 37 this month and begins coanchoring the ABC affiliate's weeknight newscasts with Harris Faulkner, a black woman, in July. "I don't believe in all those preconceived notions of what people will watch," he says. "Certainly no one can say they are pandering to a demographic" in the mostly white Minneapolis/St. Paul market. Most recently weekend anchor at Los Angeles' KCOP, Ninomiya vigorously defends Piette, who drew criticism for saying "the slant of a person's eyes" in an interview about him with Minneapolis' Star Tribune. "Ed Piette is not a racist in any form," Ninomiya says. "He's putting his good name on the line in hiring me."

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