LA 18 in the 2000’s
Our Role Models was created as a tribute to people in the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities who have made significant contributions to their community. The campaign, which consisted of one-minute vignettes, was also created to give young people something to strive for and stressed the importance of giving back to the community.
Census 2000 was a major issue for the nation. To raise awareness among the Asian Pacific American community about the importance of the Census 2000, LA 18, in conjunction with the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, aired a Census instructional program in seven languages (Cantonese, English, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog and Vietnamese). Additionally, LA 18 produced a special program for the Long Beach Cambodian community, which gave added emphasis for the need to participate. LA 18 also donated copies of the programs to community churches, temples and service centers in order to reach as deeply as possible into the community.
The Taiwan presidential elections were of tremendous importance to the Southern California Chinese community. LA 18 responded by presenting daily election updates and live election eve coverage.
In September, LA 18 co-presented the 5th Annual “Asian American Family Fun & Harvest Moon Festival” at Arcadia County Park. This event featured traditional Moon Festival activities for the entire family, Presidential Certificate Awards for 400 participating schools, a Hello Kitty Village, clowns, cartoon characters, Asian cuisine, contests, concerts and cultural performances.
On September 11, the world watched in horror as the tragedies of this day unfolded in New York’s World Trade Center, The Pentagon in Washington D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania. LA 18 took the initiative to keep Los Angeles updated on the tragedies and became the first U.S. television station to offer continuous live news coverage of a crisis in five languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese).
The following month, LA 18 aired Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, a film about breast cancer in Mandarin Chinese. Through interviews with breast cancer survivors and their families, Mothers, Daughters, Sisters helped dispel the myth that Asians are not at risk for breast cancer. The show shed light on the fact that regular mammograms are an important step in early detection and that people of all races need to have regular check-ups to catch this fatal disease early on.
In November, LA 18 launched its digital format. On December 3, LA 18 became the first U.S. television station to provide free digital, 24-hour Chinese language programming. Without having to purchase expensive satellite dishes or pay monthly programming fees, viewers in Southern California could watch our television station utilizing rabbit-ear antennas on their television sets.
Community and business leaders from the Asian and Pacific Islander community honored LA 18 with various community awards throughout 2001. Awards included the Outstanding Corporate Community Service award from the Asian Business League, Outstanding Achievement & Commitment to Community Services award from City of Los Angeles, and the Manila-US Times Eagle Award of Excellence from the Filipino Community.
On February 17, LA 18 hosted the first Lunar New Year Parade & Festival in Hollywood. The event was an overwhelming success and attracted nearly 100,000 people from all ethnicities and walks of life. The parade kicked off with fireworks, Lion Dancers, the Scripps Miramar Saddle-bred Equestrian unit representing the Year of the Horse, and our first Grand Marshal, actor James Hong. To top off the event, Asian sensation and MTV Asian Music Awards winner Regine Velasquez took the stage at the Festival.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored LA 18 with a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award nomination in the category of Live Coverage of an Unscheduled Event, for its unique and sensitive coverage of the September 11 tragedies. Out of the numerous local news stations in Los Angeles area, LA 18 was one of the three who received a nod in this category. The coverage also garnered attention from the National Association of Broadcasters, where the station was a finalist in the Service to America Awards. These awards honored broadcasters for exemplary service in the face of natural disasters, personal crises or other emergencies.
LA 18 continued to bring unique programming to its viewers by airing the inaugural MTV Asia Awards. Asia’s first ever pan-regional awards show celebrated local, regional and international talent. Hosted by Ronan Keating and Mandy Moore, the special united more international talent than anyone had seen before. The awards honored the choices of Asian youth for favorite movie, fashion designer and musician/group, among others.
In June, the station introduced Money Watch, L.A.’s first Mandarin language financial news show. Hosted by Ursula Huang, the locally produced Money Watch provided viewers with a financial week-in-review. The show featured closing market numbers for the week, business and economic news stories, and discussions with economic experts on fiscal topics for the Chinese community.
Along with the “VERB: It’s What You Do” Campaign, LA 18 presented the 2nd Annual Lunar New Year Parade and Festival celebration. The event honoring the diversity of the L.A. community and the accomplishments of Asians filled Hollywood with tens of thousands of people.
In the spring, the VERB Campaign and LA 18 launched the “What’s Your VERB?” creative expression program for Southern California Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese school children. Students were encouraged to submit an essay, song, poem, drawing, photograph, video, or any other medium that described their favorite VERB. The program ended at a pre-game ceremony at Dodger Stadium for 3,000 VERB participants and chaperones.
The station continued to gain attention for its outstanding efforts in the Asian Pacific community. The award-winning PBS series The News Hour with Jim Lehrer traveled to Los Angeles to investigate the rapid growth of ethnic media. Media correspondent, Terence Smith, who was studying the changing face of California and the boom in foreign language media, sat down with Jon Yasuda; former President & CEO of LA 18, to discuss the critical role ethnic media plays in the Asian American community. The story aired on PBS stations across the United States. A few months later, the local PBS affiliate, KCET, interviewed Yasuda for its acclaimed nightly series Life and Times.
In September, the Harvest Moon Festival turned Arcadia Park into an active playground for people of all ages. VERB and LA 18 filled the park with rock climbing walls, water games, obstacle courses, VERB competitions and much more. A professional skateboard team showed off their talent, and celebrity guest rider Jason “Wee Man” Acuna handed out autographed copies of his DVD American Misfits.
On October 6, LA 18 condensed its production facilities into one building and began broadcasting its daily live news programming from the location on Bundy Drive. The move has helped the station bring news to viewers even more quickly than before.
On October 20, LA 18 received a letter of commendation from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the station’s commitment to communicating VERB’s heath message in creative ways and its success at the Harvest Moon Festival. “VERB: It’s What You Do” is a program created by CDC to encourage youth to be physically active.
LA 18 began airing the Indonesian programming JKI Hosanna/RG Ministries and Indonesian English News.
In March, LA 18 aired a live six-hour special coverage of the Taiwanese Presidential Election, via satellite, from Taipei International.
In conjunction with KTAN, the South Korean Presidential Election aired on LA 18 via satellite.
Answering the requests for more programming geared towards Asian American youth, Stir TV premiered in December. Hosted by four youthful Asian Americans from diverse backgrounds, the 30-minute program explored the latest trends, styles and opinions of young Asian Americans.
In response to viewer requests for English subtitling, LA 18 began airing the Evening Mandarin Dramas and the Korean mini-series dramas subtitled in English.
LA 18 was the first U.S. TV station to air a live four-hour Tsunami Relief Telethon to raise aide money for the victims of the devastating Tsunami in Southeast Asia. The telethon was presented in English and included special appearances by Ambassadors from Southeast and South Asian countries, Lou Diamond Phillip, and CSI actress Marg Helgenberger, just to name a few. The telethon received tremendous public response and national news coverage.
LA 18 aired Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s State-of-the-State-Address simultaneously translated in Mandarin. The program included viewer call-ins, interviews and a follow-up of the Governor’s address.
Also in January, LA 18 and TAG Media injected life back into LA 18. To visually show the creative transformation the station has undergone, LA 18 launched its new logo and on-air graphics. Accompanying the new graphics, a new line-up of shows and news segments (news updates, weather updates, entertainment updates, etc.) were introduced.
LA Living, an interactive news-magazine show in Mandarin debuted. Hosted by Juliette Zhuo, LA Living has created an open forum for viewers to call-in and express their opinions, interests and questions about topics as diverse as entertainment, travel, cooking, education, beauty and health. It connects the Chinese American community with their new locale, while keeping them informed about the world they left behind. In a new studio complemented by updated graphics, Juliette Zhuo gives viewers a first-hand look at living the American lifestyle. LA Living takes viewers on a whirlwind journey with special guests, exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews, all in addition to helpful tips for living in the U.S.
The Lunar New Year Parade and Festival moved from Hollywood to Pasadena. The parade took place on the historical parade route of the Rose Parade. With the new location being in the heart of the Southern California Asian community, the event entertained tens of thousands of people once again.
LA 18 premiered SAP (Second Audio Programming) that allows the television station to broadcast audio other than the main audio for a program. SAP makes it possible for many audience members to understand a show they previously couldn’t due to the language barrier. LA 18 extended this technology to its viewers for the first time through its presentation of the International Badminton Federation (IBF) World Championships.
The IBF World Championships presentation in August marked the first time a local station has aired world championship badminton live in the United States. Considering that three-quarters of the world’s badminton players are Chinese, LA 18 broadcast the programs in Mandarin and English simultaneously via SAP. LA 18’s lifestyle show, LA Living, and local newscasts also featured special coverage, ticket giveaways to the event and interviews with some of the world’s top players throughout the week.
In response to the devastating earthquake in South Asia in October, LA 18 aired a one-hour special report, The Earthquake in South Asia: How You Can Help. The goal of the show was to raise funds for relief efforts and awareness for those affected by the catastrophic earthquake in South Asia.
LA 18 in the 1990’s
LA 18 broadcast the Russian nightly news program, Vremya, for the first time on U.S. television. TV Guide called Vremya “the most watched and most influential television news program in the world.” Vremya provided information from major news centers of the world via satellite and became a regular program on LA 18.
IMG launched the International Channel, the first 24-hour national cable network with programming in more than 10 languages.
Pei Pei’s Time, produced by LA 18 and hosted by Cheng Pei-Pei, the world’s first leading martial arts actress, became the first Mandarin talk show to be produced in the U.S. for international syndication. Pei Pei’s Time received a Los Angeles Emmy Award nomination for Best Informational Public Affairs Show (in-studio) in 1992 and 1994. The show was later re-named as Tea Time with new hosts, Juliette Zhuo and Bin Li, and ran for 14 years. The show was the longest running Chinese-language TV talk show in the U.S. with over 2,500 episodes.
In January, LA 18 broadcast the first California State-of-the-State-Address in California, which was simultaneously translated to Mandarin Chinese. The telecast launched LA 18’s Election Watch, a year-long public service campaign that educated viewers on the importance of voting and helped them make informed decisions about candidates and issues on the ballot.
In April, LA 18 produced and aired the first bilingual Mandarin/English forum for political candidates. Eight of the nine candidates running for City Council in Monterey Park participated in the forum.
Prior to the election, LA 18 televised the debate between California U.S. Senate candidates and simultaneously translated to Korean and Mandarin Chinese.
American Seoul, produced by LA 18, became the first Korean talk show in Los Angeles that dealt with issues specific to the Korean American community. Celebrities, community leaders and other guests completed the ensemble. The show changed its name to LA Seoul in 1995 and continued to air for 10 more years.
That same year, LA 18 produced The Johnny Yune Show, the first locally produced Korean variety show.
LA 18 presented a three-hour telethon to raise relief funds for survivors of the January 17 Kobe earthquake in Japan. Hosted by George Takei, Amy Hill and Mario Machado, the program presented live musical performances, interviews and special features that highlighted the human tragedies and the heroes of the earthquake. All proceeds from the telethon went to the American Red Cross Kobe Earthquake Relief Fund.
U.S. Citizenship: A Dream Come True, a locally produced instructional program, aired in five languages (Cantonese, English, Korean, Mandarin and Vietnamese). The program guided immigrants through the step-by-step process of becoming a citizen. For its efforts, the station was awarded the prestigious Los Angeles Emmy Award for Best Instructional Programming.
SportsRap, LA 18’s weekly program highlighted sports news from around the globe. Aired in both Korean and Mandarin Chinese language versions, the show was nominated for a Los Angeles Best Sports Series Emmy Award.
LA 18 launched Election Watch ‘96, a two-month long campaign that convinced more Asian Americans in Southern California to cast ballots for the upcoming election. The campaign consisted of special on-air editorials in Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog (Filipino), urging eligible Asian Americans to register to vote and to vote on Election Day.
The world watched the transfer of Hong Kong from Britain to China, and LA 18 presented live coverage of this historic event in an unprecedented 7 ½ hour special. The special, originated in Hong Kong and aired in Mandarin on LA 18, featured coverage of the festivities, which included parties and celebrations held throughout the territory that led up to the actual hand-over at midnight (9:00am, PDT).
LA 18 presented six hours of continuous live coverage of returns from the South Korean presidential election. The coverage originated in the studios of Korean Broadcasting System in Seoul.
LA 18 saluted the Los Angeles Annual Nisei Week Festival in a prime time special Nisei Week: A Japanese Happening. The broadcast highlighted many of the unique and special events of the nine-day festival. Yuko Sakamoto and Vic “The Brick” Jacobs hosted the special. Actors George Takei (“Mr. Sulu” from Star Trek), Tamilyn Tomita (“Waverly” in The Joy Luck Club) and KABC-TV sportscaster Rob Fukuzaki were guest commentators.
For the first time, LA 18 produced and aired the Los Angeles Golden Dragon Lunar New Year Parade. Hosted by Bin Li and Juliette Zhuo in Mandarin, the special celebrated the most festive Asian holiday with a behind-the-scenes look at the parade preparations and the parade itself.
LA 18 produced and broadcast the Miss Los Angeles Chinatown Pageant in prime time for the first time. An annual event organized by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the pageant celebrated the accomplishments, aspirations and beauty of young Chinese-American women.
LA 18 presented a two-hour telethon to aid victims of the devastating earthquake in Nantou, Taiwan. The telethon, presented in both Cantonese and Mandarin, targeted more than 500,000 Chinese Americans in Southern California. Following the telethon, LA 18 presented a Channel 18 News Special that featured reports on the earthquake recovery efforts, as well as a review of events in Taiwan since the quake.
In September, LA 18 participated in the annual Asian American Festival at Raging Waters. Winners of the station’s Bridging Both Worlds essay campaign were honored at the festival. The essay campaign, sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and LA 18, invited Cambodian, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese students to write a poem, song or essay on maintaining a drug-free lifestyle. Each participant received a signed certificate from the Office of the President of the United States.
LA 18 in the 1980’s
LA 18 produced a telethon that raised a record $3 million to benefit victims of the devastating earthquake in Soviet Armenia. The telethon provided desperately needed funds to the victims of the earthquake as it received an overwhelming public response. National press attention and coverage on nightly network news broadcasts also helped in raising aide for the disaster.
LA 18 also began the nation’s first daily Mandarin Chinese newscast, World Report. The show featured national and international news from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.
IMG (International Media Group Inc.) purchased LA 18’s sister station KIKU-TV and introduced international programming to Honolulu, Hawaii, the nation’s fourth largest Asian American market.