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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, November 2, 2001

KCCN lays off news, program directors

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

KCCN-AM radio has laid off its program director Keaumiki Akui, 56, and news director Noe Tanigawa to cut costs, station manager Mike Kelly said.

The veteran Akui, who's been with the station 21 years, and Tanigawa, who's been news director the last six years, were let go Oct. 15.

"As cold as it sounds, we've had to reduce expenses because the business in the market is slow," Kelly said. "We didn't want to let them go, and we tried as long as we could not to lay off anybody." Kelly said no further cuts are expected.

Akui, who is an expert on Hawaiian culture and music, said the settlement package he received from the station should tide him over until he makes his next move.

"Corporations own everything, and radio has become homogenized. I saw this coming a couple of months before because the reality is, AM stations aren't making money. And it's got nothing to do with the local people (at the stations); it's always been like a family here," he added.

Cox Radio, which owns seven Hawai'i stations besides KCCN, is consolidating and downsizing operations. One cluster of stations (the KCCN-KINE 'ohana) already is downtown, in a Fort Street Mall high-rise; by December, the other stations (KRTR, KGMZ, KXME) will move from Aikahi studios to the renovated downtown facilities, completing the incorporation.

Meanwhile, Kim Ann Thomas is temporarily delivering news on KCCN; KRTR's Jane Pasqual is expected to take over, possibly under a pseudonym to differentiate the stations.