scoring success


KIKU-TV is an independent television station based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Currently, KIKU broadcasts on UHF Ch. 20, Time-Warner Cable 9/Digital 89 (O‘ahu), Time-Warner Cable 10/Digital 89 (Maui), Time-Warner Cable Digital 89 (Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i) and Hawaiian Cable 12. Most of the televised content is multicultural programming catering to the large Asian community in the Hawaiian Islands. From 2004 to 2006, KIKU was also a secondary affiliate of the now-defunct UPN television network, airing most network programming during the late afternoon hours. With the cable broadcast in place, KIKU can be seen on all the major islands.

Asian Programming

Programs currently come in Japanese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and English. Japanese programming is its most popular genre, licensing the content from some of Japan's major TV networks, including TV Asahi, Tokyo Broadcasting System, NHK and NTV.

For the Japanese content to reach the majority demographic of Hawaii, KIKU partners with various companies to provide English subtitles.

KIKU also presented a selection of anime series in English from the FUNimation Channel from September 2006 to September 2007.

Station history

Not to be confused with the current KIKU, the market's original KIKU broadcast on channel 13. It started out as KTRG-TV in 1962 (then owned by the Watumull Broadcasting Company). Its first broadcast aired on July 4, 1962. The TV station was sold in 1966, changing its call letters to KIKU.

The original KIKU was quite popular with Hawaii's children throughout the 1970s, televising several Japanese tokusatsu shows, including Kamen Rider V3, Kikaida, Rainbowman, Ganbare!! Robocon, and Himitsu Sentai Goranger.

The Cushmans of San Diego, in partnership with TV Asahi and ten local investors, formed Mid-Pacific Television Associates and bought KIKU on April 9, 1979. Japanese programming was pared-down and moved to late evening; KIKU switched to a "kid vid" format, scoring success with The Children's Hour and Professor Fun.

Separately, on February 12, 1980, KHAI-TV was officially registered with the FCC on channel 20.

In 1984, KIKU was renamed KHNL-TV. In 1986, KHNL-TV was sold to King Broadcasting Company of Seattle, Washington, a large privately owned television company. Along with the purchase, KHNL-TV became the local affiliate for Fox. However, KHNL-TV still retained its Asian roots, and continued to broadcast content—mostly sumo matches—from those countries.

In 1992, King Broadcasting was sold to Providence Journal Broadcasting Corporation and its financial partner, Kelso & Company. Some major changes occurred at KHNL-TV as a result of the purchase, including the conversion of its local affiliate status from Fox to NBC.

KHAI-TV would take on the KIKU call sign on September 4, 1993.

In October 2003, General Manager Gregg Mueller left KIKU after a three-year tenure.

After many years together, KIKU and acting president Joanne Ninomiya of JN Productions ended their partnership in early 2004. Today, KIKU produces their own English subtitled programs in-house.

On November 1, 2004, KIKU became a secondary affiliate of the UPN television network. UPN was previously seen in the Honolulu market on KFVE from 1995 to 2002, and then on KHON and KGMB from 2002 to 2004 (also as secondary affiliations).

The station returned to having no national network affiliation in September 2006, when UPN merged with The WB to form The CW Television Network. Although UPN fans anticipated KIKU becoming an affiliate of The CW so they can continue to watch their favorite shows, KIKU announced they would not be doing so.

On September 18, 2006, KIKU became one of the few terrestrial affiliates of the FUNimation Channel. From September 2006 to September 2007, KIKU ran 2 hours of anime programs every Monday through Friday from 6-7 pm and 10-11 pm local time; the anime lineup changed every so often. In September 2007, due to low viewership, KIKU decided to discontinue the anime lineup.

The late afternoon timeslots formerly reserved for UPN programming are now filled with informercials and the syndicated courtroom shows Judge Alex and Divorce Court. In 2007 it added reruns of Law & Order: Criminal Intent to its lineup, airing daily at 18:00. Other English-language fare KIKU airs include Soul Train and Critter Gitters, both on weekends.


As demonstrated on the official message board, fans are displeased with KIKU's overall performance, specifically their prime-time programming. In the last few years, KIKU has displayed less of an interest in keeping its faithful fans, as traditional shows such as 3 Nen B Gumi Kinpachi Sensei and Onsen e Ikou have been given the axe. To fill the prime-time slots, KIKU is bringing in mystery/suspense drama series, rather than the trendy drama genres that once made KIKU an envy of the continental U.S. Vocal fans have even expressed their displeasure by moving their viewing time to its competitors, KBFD and the Nippon Golden Network, while others have resorted to fansubs.

In the April 2006 hardcopy publication Kokiku Magazine, fans have expressed their displeasure of KIKU continuing to air old travel TV shows such as そこが知りたい. In the following May issue, Phyllis Kihara, General Manager of KIKU, defended the station's position, saying that in the 7:00pm Monday through Friday time-slot, Soko has higher ratings in the local Nielsen Ratings than some of the major network shows.



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