KTVU Airs Show About Korean Americans as Part of Apology for Asiana Airlines Gaffe

By Kevin Eck 

KTVU, the San Francisco Bay Area market FOX affiliate, aired a special highlighting prominent Korean Americans last Saturday in an attempt to reach out to the community after its much publicized reporting of “joke” Asian sounding names in the Asiana Airlines crash last July.

The show titled “Success Makers” featured Yul Kwon as host. Kwon, a past winner of “Survivor,” interviewed guests like Daniel Dae Kim from “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-O” as well as Gideon Yu the president of the 49ers.

“I’m glad they did the show, but let’s face it – it was in response to the backlash they got from Asiana,” Ravi Kapur, a local vice president of the Asian American Journalists Association, told SFGate.

KTVU general manager Tom Raponi told TVSpy, “…the special did grow out of our efforts to reach out to the Korean community following our correction and apology. Like all television stations, we air a variety of community programming, and we were happy to air this special when Korean community leaders raised the idea.”

Kapur also told SFGate, “They need to do more, and it’s not just at KTVU.”

Kapur said members of the group had met with KTVU managers after the names fiasco, in which the station blundered into identifying the South Korean pilots by such names as “Sum Ting Wong” and “Wi Tu Lo.”

The idea, Kapur said, was to encourage the station to be more attuned to Asian Americans in its news coverage – although, he added, a show featuring the winner of “Survivor” wasn’t quite the kind of journalism they had in mind.