Anchor, Wake Up 2Day
Wake Up 2Day anchor Diane Ako loves her job. “It’s not work. It’s a lifestyle,” she said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to have viewers welcome us into their homes every morning and trust us to tell us the news they need to know to start their day.”
Ako says she doesn’t mind starting her day at 3 a.m., because “it’s a joy to walk into the newsroom and see all my friends. We are a close team.”
The Menlo College and University of Hawaii at Manoa graduate discovered her passion for news at age 14, writing for Kamehameha Schools’ student newspaper. “I am a curious person, and I love going behind the scenes to see how things work,” she said.
Ako’s stories have earned multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii chapter as well as Emmy nominations. She’s reported around the world, from tsunami-struck Indonesia to a major natural disaster in the Philippines.
But, Ako says, nothing can top her story on the opening of a Honolulu casket shop. Owner Claus Hansen eventually became her husband. “I reported on his store opening and he asked me on a date!”
When she’s not working, Ako enjoys spending time with Claus and their daughter, Olivia. She’s also a trained cake decorator, a brown belt in Japanese jujitsu and a PSIA-trained ski instructor.