Jan Yanehiro has been recognized as the first journalist to introduce the magazine format to television. Her innovative Evening Magazine aired nightly at 7:30 pm on San Francisco's KPIX (Channel 5) for 14 years beginning in 1976. The show was popular enough to be syndicated in many markets. Today Yanehiro continues her work of interviewing celebrities as entertainment reporter for KPIX Eyewitness News Nightcast. She began her broadcast career in 1975 upon leaving her flight attendant job with TWA to become a reporter and public affairs director at San Franciscošs KFRC Radio.
GS: Do you like what you're doing? JY: I absolutely do or else I wouldn't do it.
GS: What made you become a flight attendant? JY: I wanted to see the world.
GS: Did you? JY: I saw Africa, Europe, Australia, Alaska, the whole world.
GS:What made you switch to broacast journalism? JY: Being a flight attendant was a wonderful way to see the world. It wasn't going to be my career. I got my degree in journalism in 1970. As a flight attendant I always loved to write. I worked for a paper for a while, then got into radio and did four years of radio news reporting. I had my own radio show on weekends. In the mid-1970s I realized that TV was the way to go and knew I had to make the decision to move into TV.
GS: How difficult was it? JY: It took me a year to visit stations in the Bay Area and talk to news directors and general managers. Finally I did a pilot for Evening Magazine in 1975. They hired me and we went on the air in 1976. I hosted one show from the pilot in 1975. It ran until December of 1990.
GS: How did you get interviews without a video? JY: You have to be innovative.
GS: Aggressive? JY: No, not aggressive. I don't believe you achieve anything by force.
GS: How do you get what you want? JY: I think you have to persevere, you have to be assertive, you have to be smart, you have to do your homework, you have to have an enormous amount of patience, which I have none. I think you have to have dreams and a goal and desire and I think you have to go for it and have to be unafraid to fail.
San Francisco Entertainment Reporter Jan Yanehiro with her three children.
GS: What was the most embarrassing moment for you? JY: I remember auditioning for this job as a news reporter. They thought I was terrible. I was crushed. They said they didn't think radio people could make the transition from radio into television. I said I think you're wrong. Two months later they asked me to come back to audition for a show called Evening Magazine. Two months later, they hired me. I on't believe in being aggressive. I think that's a negative word. I do believe in being assertive.
GS: What's the difference between being aggressive and assertive? JY: Aggressive to me means you can use a lot of force or be a pest or get in the door perhaps the wrong way. Assertive means you're going to be smart about how you take a chance, how you get in the door, you're going to do your homework and do it the right way.