KITV news anchor Shawn Ching is leaving the station after November to pursue a career in law. Coworker Rich Fewell broke the news on Twitter this afternoon. The Roosevelt High School grad has been with the station for over twelve years, starting as its sports director in 1995. He previously covered UH sports at KHNL.
Ching graduated from the UH law school and passed the bar in 2003, so the career change will put his degree to good use.
The news comes about a week after KITV announced that Ching and co-anchor Paula Akana would be pulled from the station’s 6 p.m. newscasts, relegated to the 10 p.m. slot only. The pau hana broadcast is, as Star-Bulletin business reporter Erika Engle notes, called the “money show,” and KITV turned its anchor desk over to husband-and-wife duo Gary Sprinkle and Pamela Young (who already anchor the 5 p.m. newscast).
It’s hard to imagine how Ching’s departure could not be related to what was effectively a demotion at KITV. Personally, I’m sad to see him leave the television news business, as he was one of the few local news anchors with a great mix of energy, experience, and stature. He could be casual and warm, true to his sports background, yet get down to brass tacks for hard news.
Frankly, I always thought he’d likely be able to step up to anchor solo, and thus the most likely successor to Joe Moore’s immense legacy. Instead, he’ll be putting his education and eloquence to use in the halls of justice. I wish him well.