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Kent Ninomiya

Kent Ninomiya

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Kent Ninomiya is the first male Asian American
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

 broadcast journalist to be a primary news anchor of a television station in the United States. The Asian American Journalist Association, often referred to as the AAJA, notes that there are numerous Asian American women on the air at American television news stations but very few Asian American men. This disparity is even more pronounced with television news anchors. Kent Ninomiya was the first Asian American man to be a main anchor.

Main Anchor

Kent Ninomiya became the primary news anchor for KSTP-TV
KSTP-TV, channel 5, is the ABC affiliate for the Twin Cities. Its transmitter is located at the Shoreview Telefarm. It is the flagship station of Hubbard Broadcasting, which also owns several other broadcasting properties across the United States....

 in Minneapolis-St Paul in 2003. His co-anchor, Harris Faulkner
Harris Faulkner
Harris Faulkner is an American newscaster for Fox News Channel. She previously presented Fox News Live headline updates during the 6:00 p.m.–11:30 p.m., then briefly 12:30 a.m. ET hours weekdays. She has been working at the breaking news desk between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m...

, is an African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 female. The all minority
Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

 main anchor team working in a television market with very few minority viewers was heralded as a bold step forward by journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

 organizations across the country. Ninomiya was also primary news anchor and managing editor
Managing editor
A managing editor is a senior member of a publication's management team.In the United States, a managing editor oversees and coordinates the publication's editorial activities...

 at WICD in Champaign in 2006 and 2007.

Other Anchoring

Ninomiya first became a full time news anchor in 1999 when he was named the weekday 5am - 7am morning news anchor for KGO-TV
KGO-TV, channel 7, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Walt Disney Company-owned American Broadcasting Company, based in San Francisco, California...

, the ABC owned and operated television station in San Francisco. At KGO his co-anchors included Beth Spicuza, Carolyn Johnson and Elizabeth Bermudez. From 2001 through 2003 Ninomiya anchored the weekend evening news at KCOP in Los Angeles. He worked with several prominent co-anchors there including Gina Silva
Gina Silva
Gina Silva is a Los Angeles-based newscaster who works for KTTV Fox News and KCOP. She does live reports for Good Day LA and Fox 11 Morning News. Before moving to the morning shift, Gina worked on special projects . She also anchored the Sunday morning news with Robb Weller. Gina fills in for...

, Jennifer Gould, Maria Quiban and Lauren Sánchez
Lauren Sánchez
Lauren Sanchez is an award-winning American news anchor, entertainment reporter, and media personality. She was the weekend anchor and special correspondent on Extra. She is also a co-host on KTTV Fox-11's Good Day LA and the station's top-rated "Ten o'clock News." Sánchez is also a regular...

. During Ninomiya's time at KCOP, the news operation was merged with KTTV
KTTV, channel 11, is an owned-and-operated television station of the News Corporation-owned Fox Broadcasting Company, located in Los Angeles, California. Serving the vast Los Angeles metropolitan area, KTTV is a sister station to KCOP , Los Angeles' MyNetworkTV station...

, the Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 station in Los Angeles, as part of a duopoly
A true duopoly is a specific type of oligopoly where only two producers exist in one market. In reality, this definition is generally used where only two firms have dominant control over a market...

. Ninomiya appeared on the air for both Los Angeles television stations.


Prior to working in Los Angeles, Ninomiya was a reporter and fill in anchor. From 1993 to 1998 he worked for WLS-TV
WLS-TV, virtual channel 7, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Walt Disney Company-owned American Broadcasting Company, located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The station operates their full power digital operations on UHF channel 44, with their digital fill-in translator on VHF channel...

, the ABC owned and operated television station in Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. From 1991 to 1993 he worked at KGTV
KGTV, digital channel 10, is the ABC television affiliate in San Diego, California. The station can be seen on Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T U-verse on cable channel 10 in standard definition. Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable carry its high definition signal on cable...

 the ABC television station in San Diego. From 1990 to 1991 he worked for KFSN the ABC owned and operated television station in Fresno
Fresno is the fifth largest city in California.Fresno may also refer to:-Places:Colombia* Fresno, TolimaSpain* Fresno, a ghost village in Nidáliga, Valle de Sedano, Burgos* Aldea del Fresno, Madrid* Fresno de la Vega, Ribera del Esla, León...

. In 1990 he worked for KJEO (now KGPE
KGPE, virtual channel 47, is the CBS affiliated television station for the Fresno, California market. KGPE's digital signal is on UHF channel 34 from Auberry, California. It's currently owned by High Plains Broadcasting and operated by Newport Television, LLC....

) the CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 television station in Fresno.

Early Anchoring

Ninomiya first appeared on the air as a television news anchor in 1989 when he was the weekday morning news news anchor for KIEM, the NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 television station in Eureka, California
Eureka, California
Eureka is the principal city and the county seat of Humboldt County, California, United States. Its population was 27,191 at the 2010 census, up from 26,128 at the 2000 census....

. He also reported for that station.

Early career

Ninomiya's first appearance on television was in early 1989 at WGGB, the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 television station in Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield is the most populous city in Western New England, and the seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers; the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern...

 where he was an assignment editor
Assignment editor
In journalism, an assignment editor is an editor – either at a newspaper, or radio or television station – who selects, develops and plans reporting assignments, either news events or feature stories, to be covered by reporters.....

 and reporter. Prior to that, he worked behind the scenes at the Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 bureau of CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 in 1988, KGO-TV in San Francisco in 1988, and KTVU
KTVU, virtual channel 2 , is the Fox-affiliated television station serving the San Francisco Bay Area. Licensed to Oakland, California, the station has been owned by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises since 1964, making it the largest Fox affiliate by market size that is not owned and operated by the...

 in Oakland in 1987.


Kent Ninomiya was born in San Francisco and raised in San Diego. He was graduated from University City High School
University City High School (San Diego)
-School Overview:University City High School, located in the University City section of San Diego, California, is a comprehensive, four-year public high school, part of the San Diego Unified School District. The school opened in September 1981. The school, commonly referred to as UC High, ranked...

 in 1984 and the University of California at Berkeley in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in Social Sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

 with emphasis in History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, Political Science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 and Mass Communications. He was also a fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

 of Journalism Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

 at the Poynter Institute
Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute is a non-profit school for journalism located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The school's mission statement says that "The Poynter Institute is a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of...



During a September 2007 trial for 19-year old Erin Davis on a DUI
DUI is a three letter acronym that may stand for:* Driving under the influence * Democratic Union for Integration — the largest ethnic Albanian party in the Republic of Macedonia* Data Use Identifier...

 charge, Davis admitted driving drunk on September 17, 2006 with a blood alcohol level of .20, which is two and a half times the legal limit in Illinois. Davis struck two parked cars on South Neil Street in Champaign, heavily damaged her own car, then kept driving into Campustown where University of Illinois police spotted her. Davis was initially identified as a former intern in news reports but was later confirmed to be a former operations department employee by WICD's general manager. Davis claimed she was given alcohol by WICD reporter Emily Carlson that night and that she was justified to drive drunk because she feared being sexually assaulted by Carlson, who is a woman, and Ninomiya. Both Carlson and Ninomiya denied the claim. Carlson called it a "fabrication" telling the Star Tribune that "Clearly the state attorney's office found me to be the credible witness, not Erin Davis." Ninomiya told the Star Tribune "Both me and Emily Carlson were subpoenaed as witnesses for the prosecution. Don't you think the state's attorney would have loved to come after an anchor and reporter if there was any wrongdoing? Her story was her attempt to avoid taking responsibility for her actions."

Neither Carlson, who did not testify in the Davis trial, nor Ninomiya, who did testify, was charged with any crime regarding Davis. Ninomiya, Carlson and Davis had all left WICD before the Davis trial.


Kent Ninomiya is the author of Demand Studio Secrets, an e-book on freelance writing and marketing. He is also the managing editor of Bellamax Media, a media consulting and content creation company. Ninomiya is also an editor and writer for online magazines.

External links