Diane Ako

Anchor, Wake Up 2Day

After five years, veteran journalist Diane Ako has returned to the news desk.

The Menlo College and University of Hawaii at Manoa graduate comes to KHON2 from Halekulani Corp., where she handled public relations for the luxury hotel and its boutique sister property, Waikiki Parc.

“I have spent most of my formative career moments around the energy and pulse of news,” Ako said. “It is in my DNA and I absolutely missed it. I like the people it attracts and the culture of journalism. It was a natural decision to return to the place I consider home.”

Ako 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 career has taken her around the world – from Banda Aceh, Indonesia in 2006 for recovery efforts after a devastating tsunami, to Washington, D.C., for the capture of sniper Lee Boyd Malvo.

But, Ako says, nothing can top her story on the opening of a casket shop on Nimitz Hwy. Its 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 Hansen and their daughter, Olivia. She’s also a trained cake decorator and was working toward a black belt in Japanese jujitsu until Wake Up 2Day came calling. “Now I’m asleep when the club practices,” she said.

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