People always ask me how I got into this business. The short answer is I'm lucky. I was actually a political science major at UCLA, preparing to go to law school. As a senior, I took a communications class which required a field study. I figured I might as well do something fun, so I got an internship at FOX Sports News. Needless to say, I caught the broadcast bug while getting paid to watch and talk about sports.
From Los Angeles, I took an internship at CNN in Washington, DC. One of my most memorable experiences was covering a red carpet event at the Kennedy Center. Actor-comedian Richard Pryor was being presented with a lifetime achievement award. As luck would have it, the reporter assigned to the event couldn't make it so I stepped in to take his place. Before I knew it, I was representing CNN and interviewing Hollywood stars like Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock and Danny Glover.
Luck continued to follow me when I decided to make the trek back west. I moved to San Jose, California and took a job at KNTV. It was the perfect time to be in the Silicon Valley because this thing called the Internet was really starting to catch on. Soon I was named the station's first-ever Internet Reporter.
After a couple of years I decided to make the jump from the Internet to television by taking a job in Medford, Oregon. Two years later I found myself working in Oklahoma City where I covered (and survived) some of the most exciting assignments like chasing tornadoes into Kansas and Texas and tracking Hurricane Rita.
From Oklahoma City I moved to Sacramento. But this is where my luck almost ran out. It was April 3, 2006. A robbery suspect literally tried to kill my photographer and me. The man pulled out his 45 caliber handgun and fired two shots right at us. A nearby homeowner saw what was going on, came out of his house with a shotgun and proceeded to get in a shootout with the guy. The suspect then carjacked someone else and got away. Thankfully no one was shot, but the incident certainly made me realize I needed to spend more time with family, which brings me to Hawai'i.
Working at KGMB comes with the added bonus of being surrounded by family and friends. My wife, Karisse, grew up here and after moving five times in less than ten years, we're thrilled to call Hawai'i home. Spending time with family is by far my favorite thing to do. My world happily revolves around my wife, son and daughter. They mean the world to me. I'm also an avid sports fan and enjoy working in the yard and being outside. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't consider myself lucky (and blessed).
Tim Sakahara is a reporter for Hawaii News Now. He joined KGMB9 in 2007.