Three joining local sportscasts

Local sports television is undergoing a makeover.

Brandi Higa, who has served as interim sports reporter/anchor at KITV, was offered the full-time job officially on Friday. She will continue to anchor on weekends. Higa fills the vacancy created when Jahmai Webster accepted a job in Denver.

At Hawaii News Now, Taryn Hatcher, who has been training the past month, will go on the air this week. Hatcher is a recent Rutgers graduate.

HNN also has hired Francesca Weems, a Kealakehe High and Cal-Berekely graduate. Weems, who has worked at ESPN under Neil Everett, is the sister of former UH wideout Marcus Weems.

In the new HNN arrangement, Mark Carpenter, Hatcher and Weems will have equal responsibilities as sports anchors, reporters, editors and videographers. It will be a return to the three-person sports department that was the norm in local television until budget restraints led to reductions about a decade ago. Mike Cherry, who served as HNN’s sports anchor/reporter/director, left the station in December to join KITV as a co-host on KITV4 Morning News.


  1. Na Alii Pride March 1, 2015 9:01 am

    First! Looking forward to the return of the three person sports teams. When I watched HNN, sometimes you got Keahi or Guy doing sports. What da heck?

  2. A-joe March 1, 2015 9:03 am

    Please don’t let this Hilo boy slip through our finger tips. Keep an eye on him as he goes through the JC route.

    He’s a Beast. He can play.

  3. gigi-hawaii March 1, 2015 9:12 am

    Interesting that women have been hired to do sports on TV.
    Way to go!

  4. Stephen Tsai March 1, 2015 9:18 am

    I think the main thing with anybody who goes to a JC is to go in with a plan. I think something like only a third who go to a JC end up with an AA. It’s understandable. People have to work. Sometimes they have to support family. And so forth. Every JC person should set a goal of earning an AA in two years. That will open more options. With an AA, I think many schools, like UH, don’t look at high school transcripts or old SAT scores. Take the basics. Go to summer session if needed. Accumulate the transferrable credits. If a JC player is good, an NCAA team will find him. If he’s good and has an an AA, an NCAA team will take him.

  5. Stephen Tsai March 1, 2015 9:20 am

    I think Liz Chun was the only full-time female local sports anchor in the past.
    Maybe Lynne Kawano for a brief time. Not really sure. Memory gets fuzzy at my age.

  6. Ipu Man March 1, 2015 9:23 am

    Hope they get more than eight dollars an hour nowadays…

  7. momo March 1, 2015 9:24 am

    Just checking if I can blog

  8. momo March 1, 2015 9:31 am

    L made a entry before and it did not allow me to submit….. So this was a test if I made some sort of error

  9. Stephen Tsai March 1, 2015 9:39 am

    In Abu Dubai, most people are wealthy, which means most people really aren’t wealthy because corresponding costs are high.

  10. BigWave96744 March 1, 2015 9:53 am

    Stephen, is it safe to assume Fransesca is the sister of former Warrior WR Marcus Weems?

  11. leron March 1, 2015 9:57 am

    Hatcher was turning heads walking around with a camera at last night’s State basketball game.

  12. BigWave96744 March 1, 2015 9:57 am

    Darn it, sorry I didnt read the entire story.. Disregard the above

  13. islandman March 1, 2015 10:54 am

    Lady power !

  14. A-joe March 1, 2015 11:10 am

    ST- agreed.

    So lets be that carrot on the stick for him. Show interest. Give him incentives to comeback. Keep an eye on him. If and when he gets his AA offer him a scholie. Don’t let him go somewhere else to become our nightmare.

  15. cappie the dog March 1, 2015 11:22 am

    The USC women’s basketball team is 15-14 and 7-11 in conference this season.

    I’m worried.

    I used to like Liz Chun. Even though Chun used to refer to June Jones as J.J. on his coaching show she hosted. I don’t think the moniker J.J. quite fit Coach Jones’ persona. There can be only one J.J.

    Kid Dynamite.

    Remember the episode when J.J. tripped Thelma’s husband at a wedding and ruined his plans to be a running back for the Chicago Bears?

  16. SteveM March 1, 2015 11:23 am

    Good morning everyone!

    RE: #7 & 8
    Hi momo — long time!

  17. ai-eee-soos March 1, 2015 12:18 pm

    4. Stephen Tsai March 1, 2015 at 9:18 am
    I think the main thing with anybody who goes to a JC is to go in with a plan.
    Yup, Get your AA, BUT you must accumulate SUFFICIENT credits that

    are TRANSFERABLE to UH, if you want to enroll in UH.

  18. kapakahi March 1, 2015 12:19 pm


    Liked Liz too…….but she did have this bad habit of mispronouncing schools & places…….and names too……including those of local kids.

    Used to cringe everything it happened.

    Wasn’t as bad……but was still a similar experience to…….watching and listening to Coach Larry Price on the local HS football broadcasts on OC16TV.

    That’s why I give props to the mainland guys that can handle the local names and places……like Jahmai did……and like Sam Spangler does now.

  19. kapakahi March 1, 2015 12:31 pm

    #2 & #4,

    Here’s hoping that these 2 Big Island boyz get their AA with the necessary qualifying GPA by next summer…….and transfer to UH for the 2016 season……

    – NG David Fangupo (Kealakehe HS ’13 / Cerritos College)……

    – DT Isi Holani (Hilo HS ’14 / Reedley College)……

  20. bowwar March 1, 2015 12:34 pm

    I liked Liz Chun…She had a girl next door personality and was quite entertaining. I’m sure she’s a good mother now with two kids.

    Liz called June Jones, JJ because she could get away with it…

  21. kapakahi March 1, 2015 12:50 pm


    Had the fortunate opportunity to talk story with former UH (and Hilo HS) OT Jordan Loeffler at the Dec 2014 UH football banquet (while he hung out with his buddy Sean Shigematsu).

    According to Jordan (who was the Hilo HS sidelines for their close HHSAA States First Round lost to Kahuku @ Aloha Stadium), that kid Fahiua is definitely the real deal.

  22. cappie the dog March 1, 2015 12:56 pm


    Yeah, you’re right.

    You don’t want to mispronounce a kid’s name. It may be his/her one moment in the sun. What a let-down to be at home with friends/or family and here an interpretation of your namesake. It’s not you exactly.

    Big difference between Fogerty and “Frogtree”.

    Wow. The time it took to write this short entry, Hawaii went down in order in the top of the seventh. I’m a quick writer, too.

    Cody Culp did a nice job in relief, striking out a batter looking with the bases loaded to end the 6th.

  23. Warrior Dave March 1, 2015 1:42 pm

    I love Liz as she wasn’t afraid to ask the Coach tough questions on their show. Not like how it is today. Btw, didn’t everyone call June, JJ? I thought they did.

  24. pollypicador March 1, 2015 2:14 pm

    New blood is good, very good, especially at local news sports reporting.

    This is a promising sign.

    The viewing audience can use the culture change, where it is my hope that in the future stations also ax the deadwood, complacency and white elephant types (ones that grow out of proportion of their usefulness) . One in particular is RK. He is hard to look at, follow, respect and like.

    I also wish somebody would take it a step forward and transfuse (?) the TV and radio play-by-play of the UH football games,too. Those two are the worst. Just listen to the whispers.

    The viewing audience deserve better.

    It is my hope that the ones in the know are always evolving in bringing the best product to the viewing audience.

  25. A-House March 1, 2015 2:31 pm

    cappie #15:

    many of us were concerned about Beeman’s contract

    she did a little 2 sentence blurb that her contract is signed and delivered through the 2016-2017 season – 3 year extension?

    guess she convinced upper campus that her assistants were worth the extra she felt they deserved!

  26. hitman March 1, 2015 4:20 pm

    aloha everyone !! nice to see David Fangupo (Kealakehe HS ’13 still playing football. if i remember right he sign with hawaii UH out of high school as a running back !! not sure what happend but this boy can run fast for a big boy no could stop him back in high school on the big island !!

  27. Inyoface March 1, 2015 4:32 pm

    I’m astonished by people who update their social media a few times a day on a daily bases. Seems so exhausting. Ok I’m bored, no football today. The NBA just doesn’t seem as exciting anymore.

  28. Shoko March 1, 2015 4:58 pm

    I find that Isi Holani at 6’3″ and 318 pounds surprisingly mobile for his size. That’s if those measurements are correct.

    Got to appreciate racial diversity within the the confines of gender equity. What HNN needs now is a female version of RK then Hawaii can truly be considered the melting pot of the Pacific.

  29. Shoko March 1, 2015 5:04 pm

    I think Coach Beeman’s departure is inevitable. From a mid-major standpoint, it’s almost impossible to retain quality coaches who succeed in their first DI head coaching gig. UH may be a considered a stepping stone but at least it’s a sign that the school has made some great hires.

  30. Brother Mike March 1, 2015 6:11 pm

    Dubai + Abu Dhabi = Abu Dubai?

    Reading was a big thing in our house. Geography, not so much.

  31. islandman March 1, 2015 6:27 pm

    25. A-House; It looks like a 2 year extension since her first year at UH was 2012-13 and 2014-15 is her third year here.

  32. hatakeman March 1, 2015 6:51 pm

    ST, sorry to have to correct you on this, but it’s either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. They are separate states or kingdoms of the United Arab Emirates.

  33. Nanakuli March 1, 2015 7:55 pm

    It would be a shame if Beeman leaves. We’re had close to 2,000 for her last game, we only have 4 seniors. The future would be bright. I hope Norm Chow can do the same thing with his new coaches.

  34. cappie the dog March 1, 2015 9:01 pm


    I go to a majority of women’s basketball games.

    What I remember most about Dale Takahara-Dias was that during timeouts, she would spend half the time huddling with her coaches, leaving the players to talk among themselves during the interim. Then she would lean down in the huddle and draw something up.

    I also remember that the redshirts and the rarely used players would be talking among themselves during these timeouts.

    With Coach Beeman, you see the focus in her players. I just love her to death and it will kill me if she leaves. And I really don’t mind that nobody shows up. It takes me under a minute to get out of the Stan Sheriff parking structure.

    Right now, they have a RPI of 64. What a number, right? On the nose.

    They’re on the bubble of the bubble as an at-large team. If they win out their final two regular season games and get past the semifinal, they will probably be one of the First Four teams out. That would be quite an accomplishment for somebody out of the Big West.

    Keep an eye on what Colorado State does. That is Hawaii’s sole “quality victory”.


    If she didn’t have a history with them, I wouldn’t worry, because on the men’s side, they went with the hot mid-major coach, and that program is going down in flames.

    I recall one of the local writers reporting that Southern Cal had offered Beeman more money to stay on as associate head coach. Obviously she’s a known entity, unlike Andy Enfield.

    If Ashley Karaitiana, and I say this with affection, could hit the side of the barn a little more often, I think they’d be 24-3 right now.

    Kuehu, I think, will get a free agent contract with a WNBA squad. You have to be there. She goes up for the block and comes down with the ball. She is playing like her life depended on it, and it’s great to see. Much respect for her.

  35. Na Alii Pride March 1, 2015 9:18 pm

    #15 Cappie, I think we the same age. I remember Kid DYNOMITE! Yes, I remember that episode that Keith hurt his knee. Michael sang at the wedding.

    And, it will kill me too if Beeman leaves. She’s not Kamaaina, but listening to her talk, I think she’s become Malahini. I heard her say once on BC’s show that we cannot offer great facilities, but we can offer them a chance to be a part of an ohana. She said that the booster club does a great job of contributing to this family atmosphere.

    Some that come from the mainland don’t fit in to the lifestyle, but Beeman has done a great job of learning and embracing the culture.

  36. ai-eee-soos March 1, 2015 9:43 pm

    $100,000,000.00 DONATION to UH School of Business.

    One hundred million, total, by Jay Shidler, to his Alma Mater.

    saw the ad on cable 8 – did I hear / see right?

    missed it, if it was posted before.

  37. ai-eee-soos March 1, 2015 10:23 pm

    # 36

    OLD NEWS – this was back in Oct. 2014.

    Yeah, I sure did miss the post.

  38. tom March 1, 2015 11:03 pm

    #36 “In 2006, Shidler donated $25 million to the College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In honor of his gift, the College was renamed the Shidler College of Business. His gift to the University was the single largest donation made by a private donor at that time. The gift allowed the College to increase student scholarships and faculty research support, expand academic programs, provide matching gift opportunities, and renovate and upgrade classrooms, buildings, and the surrounding environment. Since then, Shidler quietly continued to give a total of $6 million to further renovate the College facilities.

    Shidler’s new $69 million commitment now brings his total UH giving to $100 million. It is the largest private donation in the history of UH and is truly a visionary gift.”

    You may not have 1M or even 100M to donate to the UH, but even $1 or $10 or $100 or better helps. Don’t depend on someone else to do it.

  39. aaron March 2, 2015 12:48 am

    #27 – NBA not as exciting anymore? NBA is better than it has been in a long time right now. I highly recommend you watch LAC vs GSW a week from today…

  40. Maddog50 March 2, 2015 4:44 am

    Tom, #38,exactly my sentiment. Get involved help, donate, support. Waiting for someone else is not the answer—thx

  41. Akamai Okole March 2, 2015 6:30 am

    Great Morning All!

    Hoping that get lotsa guud sports stuff for the new sports reporters to report!

  42. Stephen Tsai March 2, 2015 8:09 am

    New post:

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