Ron Mizutani leaving KHON2 for Hawaiian Telcom
Ron Mizutani, who has logged a 20-year career at KHON2 as sports director, reporter and news anchor, is leaving the Fox affiliate in mid-August to join Hawaiian Telcom as vice president of corporate communications.
Mizutani's last day on air will be Aug. 17. He will join Hawaiian Telcom's management team Aug. 20.
"This has certainly been one of the most difficult decisions that I have had to make," Mizutani said in a statement released yesterday. "I have established incredible relationships here at KHON2 and I will miss my second family immensely; but I am excited and grateful about this new challenge and opportunity."
Mizutani is the latest high-profile personality to leave the local Fox affiliate in recent months. Longtime local television journalist Tina Shelton left KHON in early July. That followed the departure of TV news anchor Leslie Wilcox in early March.
Shelton became the communications director for the John A. Burns School of Medicine, while Wilcox became president and chief executive for PBS Hawai'i.
The personnel changes come amid a series of ownership changes at Hawai'i's top-rated news channel. Last month, New Vision Television Group of Los Angeles said it would purchase KHON from Montecito Broadcast Group. Montecito had acquired the station from Emmis Communications Corp. in January 2006.
"I'll be the last one holding off the Indians at Fort Apache," anchor Joe Moore quipped about Mizutani's departure.
Joe McNamara, KHON president and general manager, said: "Ron has dedicated himself to the KHON2 News team and the loyal viewers of Hawai'i for more than 20 years. Ron's passion for news was always evident as he gave 110 percent of himself to researching, writing and delivering news to the people of Hawai'i. Ron is the consummate news professional."
Mike Ruley, Hawaiian Telcom's chief executive officer, said Mizutani will be an asset in the company's communications team. "His experience in high-profile cases, complex financial transactions and the challenging issues that face our community make him an excellent choice to help tell our company's story," said Ruley.