NAMIBIA: Land of the Cheetah

BORN TO EXPLORE: NAMIBIA - Land of the Cheetah


Explorer Richard Wiese travels to Namibia to meet a woman who has dedicated her life to saving cheetahs from extinction — Dr. Laurie Marker, founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Richard tracks cheetahs on the Namibian plains and helps a medical team with a cheetah check-up. Learn how local farmers have formed an extraordinary partnership with wildlife conservationists and use dogs to protect livestock—ensuring the survival of Namibia’s cheetah population.






The Evolution of HIKI NŌ
Cover Story by Robert Pennybacker


COVER STORY: The Evolution of HIKI NŌ by Robert Pennybacker - Director, Learning Initiatives, PBS Hawaiʻi


Students from O‘ahu’s Ka‘ala Elementary School in Wahiawā

Students from O‘ahu’s Ka‘ala Elementary School


Launching a New Season
Thursday, February 7, 7:30 pm


When HIKI NŌ premiered on February 28, 2011, the HIKI NŌ students from Ka‘ala Elementary School who grace the cover of this program guide were toddlers. The Maui Waena Intermediate School students who hosted that first episode are now seniors in college. If the students have matured over the eight years HIKI NŌ has been on the air, so has the program.


Eight years ago, a weekly half-hour show in which middle and high school students write, report, shoot and edit PBS-quality news features on topics that they selected was inconceivable. Before going on the air, the premise of HIKI NŌ (which means “Can Do” in the Hawaiian language) was based on the supposition that the same professional quality found in news stories already being created at Wai‘anae High School’s Searider media program could be duplicated in other schools across the islands. Nobody knew if this grand experiment would work.


Not only did it work – it flourished beyond expectations and spread to 90 public, charter, and private schools throughout state – including four elementary schools!


Clockwise from top left: Students from Maui’s Seabury Hall School, A student from O‘ahu’s Aliamanu Middle School with Pearl Harbor attack witness Jimmy Lee at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Students from Maui's Lahaina Intermediate School, Students from Kauaʻi's Kapaʻa Middle School

Clockwise from top left: Students from Maui’s Seabury Hall School, A student from O‘ahu’s  Aliamanu Middle School with Pearl Harbor attack witness Jimmy Lee at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Students from Maui’s Lahaina Intermediate School, Students from Kauaʻi’s Kapaʻa Middle School


HIKI NŌ has thrived because of its unique intersection of two distinct worlds: The education world and the real-life world of a public television station that must uphold the standards of its broadcast and online content.


The rigorous experience of refining their stories to meet PBS national standards has helped HIKI NŌ students to dominate national digital media competitions. At the Student Television Network’s 2018 Fall Challenge, Hawai‘i’s HIKI NŌ schools garnered 33% of the awards given out for that competition. Hawai‘i took home the most awards of any state (13), followed by California (10) and Florida (5).


After the launch of the program, teachers and others from the education world began to notice that the HIKI NŌ experience taught students much more than how to tell stories with pictures and sound. It helped them to develop the basic skills needed to survive in the new, global economy: critical thinking, creative problem solving, adaptability, collaboration, teamwork and entrepreneurialism. The recognition that these skills are essential to students’ success in college and beyond has led to dynamic partnerships between HIKI NŌ/PBS Hawai‘i and the state’s Early College and P-20 programs.


A core group of HIKI NŌ teachers informally known as Hawai‘i Creative Media proved to be the most effective trainers of other HIKI NŌ teachers and their students. Their importance to the process became so evident that they organized themselves as a nonprofit organization – the Hawai‘i Creative Media Foundation – whose mission is to provide students and teachers across the state with training in basic digital media skills.


The state’s CTE (Career Technology Education) program and the Department of Education have recognized the importance of this training and are making plans to fund the Hawai‘i Creative Media-led teacher/student workshops. Up until now these workshops have been paid for by PBS Hawai‘i. This shift toward the educational institutions funding the training of its teachers and students represents a sea change for HIKI NŌ. It acknowledges that the educators are equal partners in the HIKI NŌ process and brings into focus the distinct roles that the two worlds must play: Hawai‘i’s educators teach Hawai‘i’s students, while PBS Hawai‘i provides them with the real-world, professional experience, plus statewide (broadcast) and worldwide (online) platforms for their voices to be heard.




Kahauiki Village


Faced with the highest rate of homelessness in the nation, Hawai‘i needs new, bold ideas to solve the state’s homeless crisis. One breakthrough vision was inspired by a specific lifestyle with deep roots in Hawai‘i’s history – and one business leader’s personal memories of growing up during that era. It took a public/private partnership unlike any other in the country to make Kahauiki Village a reality.


Join us during our live discussion by phoning in, or leaving us a comment on Facebook or Twitter. INSIGHTS is also live streamed on and Facebook Live.


Phone Lines:
462-5000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.




Visit the PBS Hawai‘i Facebook page.


Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights





Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi star in this UK comedy series as partners Freddie and Stuart, who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years. The duo are always cracking snide remarks aimed at the other’s age, appearance and flaws, but underneath their vicious, co-dependent fighting, they have a deep love for one another.


After Freddie and Stuart have a falling out, Stuart moves in with Ash and Violet moves in with Freddie. It doesn’t take long, however, before the new flatmates begin to drive each other crazy.




Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi star in this UK comedy series as partners Freddie and Stuart, who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years.


The gang decides to join Ash and Jess at a ballroom dancing class. Nimble on his feet, Stuart quickly becomes teacher’s pet, leaving Freddie in a huff.


Stag Do


Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi star in this UK comedy series as partners Freddie and Stuart, who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years. The duo are always cracking snide remarks aimed at the other’s age, appearance and flaws, but underneath their vicious, co-dependent fighting, they have a deep love for one another.


Stag Do
Finding themselves both single, Violet and Ash consider dating new people. Freddie, meanwhile, feels under pressure from Stuart to land a major new acting role.


It Just Doesn’t Add Up – Federal De-Funding of Public Media

Special Message

Kent K. Tsukamoto, Treasurer, PBS Hawai‘iI’m a numbers guy. It’s my job.


As a longtime CPA and as managing partner of one of Hawai‘i’s largest locally owned financial services companies, I know that numbers tell stories, too.


So, with the White House handing Congress a proposed federal budget that would de-fund the nonprofit Corporation for Public Broadcasting, I took a closer look at the numbers in the current federal investment.


$1.35. That’s the cost of public broadcasting per citizen per year – less than the price of a manapua.


For years now, Republicans and Democrats have vigorously argued and then come together in a bipartisan investment to give public media $445 million a year, with most of the money going directly to support free, noncommercial, locally run PBS television stations and NPR radio stations across the country.


$445 million is 1/100th of 1 percent of the nation’s budget, amounting to $1.35 per citizen per year. The national PBS folks point out that’s less than a cup of coŸffee. Here, we like to say: That’s less than the price of a manapua – and a small manapua at that.


Most years for PBS Hawai‘i, our part of the national funding amounts to 15 percent, or about $1 million, of our annual revenues. We use the federal investment as seed money to attract contributions from the private sector – “viewers like you.” Individuals, businesses and charitable foundations pitch in. It’s these private gifts and grants, fanned by the spark of federal funding, that provide the bulk of our statewide programming and outreach.


Among the oŸfferings that the federal investment helps us acquire: curriculum-based PBS KIDS programming that boosts our children’s learning; the science show NOVA; the investigative program Frontline; and performing arts on Great Performances. The federal funding also helps to create shows like Na Mele, the only weekly television show featuring traditional Hawaiian music; and Insights on PBS Hawai‘i, the only live hour-long interactive public affairs show on weekly statewide television.


As a lean local nonprofit that’s able to leverage the federal money and also scale our services by sharing program costs nationally in public media, PBS Hawai‘i has a track record of delivering quality shows at very reasonable costs.


To guard against political interference in program content, Congress has provided two-year “forward funding” as a firewall. All of this computes to a successful public-private partnership.


As Neil Shapiro, who heads WNET in New York, observed: “It’s not like cutting this would have any appreciable effect on any taxpayer across the country, but losing PBS would.”


In my view, this is especially true when it comes to the value of PBS’ in-depth news coverage, arts and culture, a safe haven for keiki and a trusted place to air diffŸering perspectives on local issues.


It’s a privilege to volunteer my time as Treasurer of PBS Hawai‘i’s Board of Directors – because I want to support a community treasure that is efficient and collaborative in costs, while providing a significant multiple in the value returned to the people of Hawai‘i.


I see how the federal investment enriches the people of Hawai‘i and keeps our stories alive, our music playing and our home a better, safer place. The numbers tell the story.


If you’d like to help support public media organizations like PBS Hawai‘i:

  1. Contact your Hawai‘i Congressional delegates.
  2. Go to and sign a petition.
  3. Continue to pitch in with your private dollars as you can.

Thank you


A Threat to Public Broadcasting’s “Spark”

Protect My Public Media

If you’d like to help support public media organizations like PBS Hawai‘i:

  1. Contact your Hawai‘i Congressional delegates.
  2. Go to and sign a petition.
  3. Continue to pitch in with your private dollars as you can.

Thank you

Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS HawaiiAt first, when Ronald Reagan launched his Presidency in 1981, he didn’t like the idea of federal monies going to fund PBS and NPR stations across the country.


Then he saw how public-service media stations leveraged a relatively small amount of federal funding to gain private donations. One federal dollar might turn into, say, eight dollars, with citizens, businesses and charitable foundations adding the weight of their support.


“Government should provide the spark and the private sector should do the rest,” President Reagan said.


We at PBS Hawai‘i believe this is a good public-private partnership, centered on education, public safety and civic leadership. Last year, 9.5 percent of our revenues came from the federal investment.


Now comes the Trump Administration, signaling its intention to “privatize” – meaning de-fund – the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the private nonprofit that distributes funds to public media stations. Other Administration targets are the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


As I write this, two weeks before publication, I’m getting ready to go to Washington, D.C. for a national public media summit, at which attendees will seek to determine President Trump’s plans. Is he really going to wage a battle against federal seed money for public broadcasting?


The public broadcasting community says the notion of eliminating the federal funding in its mission is “nothing new.” It points out that similar ideas have been “soundly rejected on a bipartisan basis.”


According to the industry publication Current, the chair of a key House Appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), predicts that such a move would fail because “there is a strong constituency for public broadcasting in both the House and Senate.”


Indeed, strong bipartisan support usually results in an appropriation of about $1.35 per year per American. Still, leaders of public broadcasting say they must take funding threats seriously. They’re asking to talk with Administration officials, and station general managers from all over the country are taking their case to Capitol Hill.


PBS Hawai‘i’s Board of Directors already has written to Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegates.


However, America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) isn’t calling out and mobilizing citizens at this time. Without a fleshed-out proposal from the Trump Administration, leaders are monitoring the situation closely. We are urging viewers to register your support at


Aloha a hui hou,
Leslie signature


The Holiday Special


Freddie (Ian McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi) host a holiday soiree in their small central London flat. Ash (Iwan Rheon), their young upstairs neighbor, has volunteered to cook the meal, their feisty best friend Violet (Frances de la Tour) is up to her old tricks, and a wicked game of Truth or Dare brings up hidden truths – and surprises as well.


Kirk Matthews and Linda Coble


In honor of the late Kirk Matthews, PBS Hawaii presents and in-memoriam encore of this episode from February 2013.


Leslie Wilcox talks with husband-and-wife news veterans Kirk Matthews and Linda Coble. The two talk about meeting at a Portland, Oregon news station, the influence of legendary newscaster Bob Sevey, their news experiences and their solid partnership of over 30 years.


This program will be rebroadcast on Sunday, Aug. 7 at 3:30 pm.


Download the Transcript




MATTHEWS:        I was doing a morning show, noon show, evening show. And so, when she got there, that was wonderful. And the fact that she was a delicious babe made it all the better.

COBLE:                What do you mean, was?



COBLE:                [CHUCKLE]

MATTHEWS:        Was and is. But I fell in love with her from the very first time I saw her.


You know them in front of the camera and at the microphone. On this edition of Long Story Short, my former TV news colleagues, Kirk Matthews and Linda Coble reveal their personal story behind all the stories they’ve covered in their long careers.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawaii’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. In this edition of Long Story Short, Linda Coble and Kirk Matthews are among the most recognizable couples in Hawaii due to their decades in local broadcast news. Linda is known as the first female TV reporter and anchor in Hawaii, and Kirk has been on Hawaii’s airwaves longer than almost any other local TV newscaster working today. Kirk and Linda have a lot in common, beginning with a date in history, January 10, 1947.


MATTHEWS:     We were born on the same day, in the same year, which may explain part of that. Linda, amazingly, has become ten years younger than I am over time.




MATTHEWS:        But she was born on the East Coast, I was born on the West Coast, and we figured we were two little stars shot down from Heaven, and we ended up together.


People who’ve worked with you a long time, have been your friends for a long time, they often comment on how alike you are. How are you alike, would you say?


COBLE:                We are alike. We don’t argue. This is really weird. We never get mad at each other.


Oh, now, you’re not one to back down from an argument. It would seem like you would argue.


COBLE:                Never.




COBLE:                Really. I don’t think we ever get mad at each other, ever. We agree on a lot of things. He is very flexible. I’m the one that’s doing weird things at weird times. The fact that he goes to bed like a baby at seven-thirty at night is a lot of fun in a relationship, but I don’t complain.




COBLE:                And he has to get up at two-thirty in the morning, and I don’t mind him rolling out of the bed with the alarm blasting. Bye-bye, Honey. And then I have to go back to sleep, which is really





COBLE:                But we never argue.



VIDEO: It is now five twenty-five, almost five twenty-six on this Wednesday morning. Wall Street—


It’s an unnatural shift that you have.


MATTHEWS:        It is odd; it is odd. You know that, more than anybody.



And you never get used to it. And you’re still doing it, Kirk, after how many years?


MATTHEWS:        Gosh, I don’t even know. How many has it been; twelve, thirteen years on this go-around? Twelve years, maybe? You know, off and on before then.


And I know what while Linda may go back to sleep at two-thirty, she watches you on the air. Because when you were on the air and I was on the air at the same time, she watched what we did. She knew what was on every stage of the game.


COBLE:                I think it’s a responsibility of a partner to know what’s going on.

And then, we’re in the same profession, which makes it very easy. He can come home and talk to me about what

happened during the day, and I understand it. If you were a lawyer, forget about it. [CHUCKLE] I wouldn’t know. You know what I mean? And I think that partnership profession helps in the

after-work experience. I understand what he’s saying, he understands and respects my feedback. So that’s neat. So of course, I watch.


So you claim you don’t argue. Is there something you agree to disagree on, where you just don’t talk about it?


MATTHEWS:        Yes. And it’s exactly that. There are days when I send her a little note and say, When I get home, I know you will want to talk about this. We are not going to. I love you.


But do you ever talk about it, then?


MATTHEWS:        Yes, we do. Of course, we do. But—


COBLE:                He can’t shut me up.


When you talk about firsts in broadcasting, you see Linda Coble’s name locally. And I think you have some national firsts, too. But people who watch TV news now, and who hadn’t before, probably don’t realize how rare it used to be to ever see a woman on TV news.


COBLE:                When I graduated from the University of Oregon in Portland, ready to look for work, knocking on the door of every TV station

in Portland, the fellow at the station where I ended up working at in Portland told me, Come back when you’ve had more experience and a sex change operation. He actually said that.

He would be fired today for having, said something that horrible. But it crushed me. There really weren’t that many women in


television across the country. And when I got here to Hawaii and got a job as a newsroom secretary the day they landed the man on the Moon in 1969, Jim Manke gave me the job over at Channel 4, I felt so proud to have been able to crack that one little curtain open.


Newsroom secretary.


COBLE:                Newsroom secretary. And then from then on, I was taking Tim Tindall’s dirty suits to the cleaners [CHUCKLE], making sure the ties were hung up nicely, and the film in those days was swept off

the floor, and answering the phone. And it didn’t take long for me to start doing stories, and then anchoring. And we were the

first women here, anyway, and a few others around the country,

and we made it into Newsweek Magazine in 1971.


How did the men receive you in the newsroom?


COBLE:                Very well. I was so proud. What a team. Al Michaels was our sports guy.




COBLE:                And Don Rockwell, and Tom McWilliams, and …

MATTHEWS:        Ken Kashiwahara.

COBLE:                Ken Kashiwahara. I mean, I could go down the line of these wonderful journalists. Bart Fredo; I used to peek over his shoulder in every story he had, but he never got huhu about it. It was okay. And I was learning every day.


Well, so then, you worked for Bob Sevey, who was on record saying, you know, A woman works in this newsroom over my dead body.


COBLE:                He said, A woman doesn’t have a credible voice.


Not authoritative enough.


COBLE:                Yeah. So, I thought, and then, he realized that we were spanking his butt, and he said, Okay, I’d better get her over on our side.


When you say that, Linda, what you mean is …


COBLE:                Ratings were doing very well. That’s what I mean.



So, he wanted you as somebody who could attract an audience.



COBLE:                Yeah; exactly. And he was very, very gracious, and I worked my way up.


VIDEO: I knew Waikiki when this avenue was two ways, when you could still see the beach from here, and The Jungle wasn’t concrete.


The Sevey newsroom had seventy-five percent of the market watching. There was no cable out there, and the other stations had small audiences. So, I mean, everybody knew who Linda Coble was.


Linda Coble knew she wanted to be a reporter all along, and majored in broadcast journalism. But Kirk Matthews originally planned to become a teacher, like his father.


MATTHEWS:        I went to Oregon College of Education, it was called then, and I had every intention of becoming at teacher. But it was the turbulent 60s, and one thing led to another, and I ended up with just a general studies degree, major in English and minor in political science.


When you say one thing led to another, it wasn’t—


MATTHEWS:        Well, let me just put it this way.


—long-haired protests and arrests, was it?



MATTHEWS:        Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was, okay? COBLE:  He had hair down to here. MATTHEWS:                              I was a … hippie guy.

COBLE:                Hippie-dippie.

MATTHEWS:        And served my country. [CHUCKLE] And then, when that was done, like Linda, went knocking on doors in Portland, said Here I

am, and they said, Go to a small town and get some experience. And I did. I went to Coosbury, Oregon, which isn’t tiny-tiny, but there was a fellow there who had just bought a radio station and didn’t know one thing about radio, and I knew just that much more, because I’d worked at the college radio station in Portland. And so, he and I just started in, and six months later, I ended up back in Portland for Public Radio for a year and had my own report on Public Radio, and then worked for Public Television for a year.


What’d you do for Public Television?


MATTHEWS:        We had a program on four nights a week, an hour-long program called Feedback. We thought that was pretty hot stuff back then. And it was hip; it was like four young Turks. We did everything; produced, directed, shot our own video film, did live interviews, had call-ins, and we were just pretty radical for the day. This was 1970, I think, ’71. And did that for a year. It was in black and white.


And were you climbing the ladder? Were you looking for the bigger market?


MATTHEWS:     Well, that came along a little later. I got a job at the NBC

affiliate in Portland for a couple three years. And then, like every young person, you know, Oh, what’s next? San Fran, Seattle, Los

Angeles. I had a couple of offers, but nothing, you know, really

appealed. So, just hung out in Portland, worked at different TV

stations. But my fun time was at KOAP, Channel 10. COBLE:           You told me your fun time was with me and Channel 9.

MATTHEWS:     That was the most fun time.




Had Linda Coble stayed at KGMB, she might never have met Kirk Matthews. But in 1981, she moved back to Oregon, where she was raised, to spend some time with her family.


COBLE:                When I was working at KGMB, my dad died, and Sevey, Bob Sevey, our boss, said, There’s a space at the CBS affiliate in Portland. They never had a woman anchor, so maybe you can go and do that. I’ll hold your chair for you, if you want. And so, he let me go. And this was ’81, and there I went to Portland. Walking through the parking lot to the TV station, you know, this hair blond and tan, you know, co-ed looking. Stumble into this parking lot, ready to go up to the newsroom to have my interview, and uh, this man with a tweed jacket with leather patches and—


Kinda professorial.


COBLE:                Yeah, very. Smoking a pipe, leaning against the wall. And he said, Are you from Hawaii? Are you the woman that’s going upstairs? I said, Yes, I am.





COBLE:                And he said, I just want you to know that the women reporters upstairs don’t like you already; they wanted the job you’re getting. And he said, Your co-anchor makes X-amount of money. He’s going down a list. And I’m saying, Why are you telling me all this? And he said, You’re taking my job. And that’s how I met Kirk. That was Kirk.




COBLE:                In the parking lot.


How do you do.



COBLE:                [CHUCKLE] Oh, God. And we—well, I can’t say the punch line of that one.

MATTHEWS:        No, you can’t.

COBLE:                [CHUCKLE]

MATTHEWS:        No, not on PBS, not on any television station, as a matter of fact.

On cable, you could say the punch line, but not here.


Well, this runs on cable too. MATTHEWS:       That’s true. [CHUCKLE]

MATTHEWS:        Well, we won’t go there. The fact is that … I fell in love with her the very first second I saw her. The very first second.


That was the way you made your impression on her, by scaring her and intimidating her and—


MATTHEWS:        I wasn’t trying to scare her, I was telling her about the culture of the newsroom, and what to expect, and giving her a head start.

COBLE:                And why are you telling me all this, because you’re taking my

job. I mean, that was shocking. But it wasn’t the truth. MATTHEWS:       That was not the truth.

COBLE:                He was just teasing.

MATTHEWS:        The fact was that I was holding the chair until she got there. I

mean, I was working from six in the morning ‘til six at night as a co-anchor for the evening show. I was doing a morning show,


wonderful. And the fact that she was a delicious babe made it all the better.


COBLE:                What do you mean, was?



COBLE:                [CHUCKLE]

MATTHEWS:        Was and is. But I fell in love with her from the very first time I saw her.

COBLE:                It took me a while.


Linda Coble and Kirk Matthews were newsroom colleagues at KOIN in P ortland for about a year before they became a couple. But the romance did not help Linda get over her other love, for the islands.


COBLE:                I got so homesick for Hawaii. I mean, I would sit on the treadmill and listen to the Brothers Cazimero playing music on my headphones, and I’m sobbing. And finally, I told Sevey, I need to come back, can I come back? And he said, Yeah, you can come back. Can I bring somebody? What do you mean? And I said, Well, I’m in love; can I bring Kirk? Meaning, can he come to work as well.

MATTHEWS:        She came over in April of ’83, I came over in September, and every day, I would drive her to work. And every day, I would stick my head in the office of Sevey and say, Got anything yet? And he would say, Are you still here? And that went on for six

weeks. In fact, for those six weeks, my main job was going down to Chun Hoon Market and lifting five-pound bags of Hinode rice off the top shelf for little old ladies. They would tug on my sleeve

and say, Haole man, can you get Hinode rice?





MATTHEWS:        Yes, ma’am. Put it down on the shopping cart like that. And I’m thinking, Good enough, I’ll do it as long as I can do it.


And I suppose, you weren’t gonna be applying at other TV stations.


it was out of the question. That was where I wanted to be, that’s the girl I wanted to be with, and quite frankly, Sevey was the

boss I wanted to work for then. COBLE:  He didn’t trust any man with me.


Oh, that was it. It wasn’t a professional deal. Did he have a job he could open up?


COBLE:                Yeah, eventually, he started a reporter job at ten o’clock news.

They never had one. And so, he started doing that.


VIDEO: Updated world stories via satellite. Linda Coble offers—


Both of you were very influenced by Bob Sevey.


COBLE:                M-hm.


How so, and were you influenced in the same ways?


MATTHEWS:        Probably me, a little less so than Linda. I came to work there a little later in my career, and Linda had been under his mentorship for a lot longer. But he was a very big stickler for facts and fairness. If there’s one side, there’s gotta be another side. And if there is, you better bring it.

COBLE:                We all used to sit in his office at the end of our day. We wouldn’t, you know, run home and go eat. We stayed and watched our competition on a totem pole set of three TV sets.


While he was anchoring the news. COBLE:   While he was anchoring. And your reports were on.

COBLE:                That’s correct. We all sat in that room. We crowded in to see how we did, how that compared. And I think that was part of Bob’s inspiration, to give us pride in what we did, and to be really aware of what our competition was doing, and see that that would make a difference in the quality of our airtime. That never happens now. People are just out the door the minute, you know, the bell rings.

MATTHEWS:        Well, and there’s five hundred channels on, too.


COBLE:                That’s right.


At the time you started in local television news, news was a loss leader. It was truly a public service. And lo and behold, the faces in the newsroom became the icons of the station, and the newsrooms became huge revenue generators. So the business changed, it became much more entertainment-oriented, we’re gonna use this to attract a following. So, you got to see that change. And I think it required different skills, too.


COBLE:                Yup; it did. And if you didn’t keep up with them … bye.


So, both of you were good at keeping up with what was required over years in a changing dynamic television news business.


COBLE:                And it was really fun when I went to Perry and Price in ’88, to be able to go and have a little bit more freedom to say what I wanted to say. With them, it was okay. But that was the first time. I can say, 1988 was the first time I ever shared my own opinion on a public airway. And that was because I was with Mike and Larry, and not with Sevey. And it was a different environment.


You’ve really gone different ways. You’ve stayed in the business as it’s

changed, sometimes gritting your teeth. And Linda’s made forays back into it at times, but you’ve actually been very resolute in remaining a volunteer.


COBLE:                Yeah; I’ve been very lucky. And that’s part of the joy of being a public figure. When you’re on television, you can’t help but have your face out there, and people recognize you, they trust you. And if you have followed through in your personal life well, as well as your professional life, then you are of value to an organization, and you can pick and choose. And it’s been wonderful. You know, everything from the prevention of child

abuse, Rotary and all the wonderful projects and things that they do, and um, family programs, Hawaii Foster Kids.


But you didn’t commodify yourself. I don’t mean anything by this, but you chose not to represent a company or make money, you didn’t trade in the public recognition.


COBLE:                I haven’t made a cent. MATTHEWS:        [CHUCKLE]


COBLE:                I haven’t made a cent since I left. Only when there were pregnancies at the TV station would I be able to go in and work three months during their maternity leave. And then, Kirk got tired of getting everybody preg—nah.




COBLE:                Nah, nah, nah. And so, that was it. I’d go in and have a wonderful time, but that is the only money I’ve made since.

MATTHEWS:        When in 1998, the last gig happened, we came to kind of a crossroads. And there was an opportunity for Linda to move up in the ranks of Rotary International, and it cut our income in half.

There were two of us, and then there was one. But we agreed that we could do that. And I want to say this in the nicest way possible. She would be my community service; she would do

what both of us could do if we had the time and the resources. We only had some of the resources, so she gave her time. And I’ve never been sorry; not one single minute.


So, what was it like breaking into the top ranks of the Rotary here?


COBLE:                Wonderful. What?

MATTHEWS:        I was gonna say, when we had to go this international assembly, there’s like five hundred twenty-five districts around the world, and with only twenty-five women, most of the district governors were men. Which meant most of the spouses were women.





COBLE:                And then, he’d have to go to breakout sessions and learn how to sculpt ice, make ice sculptures and—

MATTHEWS:        Fifty ways to tie a scarf. Things like that.

COBLE:                He was in this group. There were twenty-five men in that room of five hundred and fifty.


And you attended those scarf sessions?


MATTHEWS:        You bet. COBLE:         Had to.

MATTHEWS:        You bet. I sure did. I’ll show you right here.




COBLE:                It’s a partnership. You know. If he had said, Honey, we need the money, come on, I would say, Okay, all right, I can do it, I could go down and welcome diners to Assagio, or whatever I wanted to do. That’s no problem.

MATTHEWS:        We came to this decision together.

COBLE:                To be able to take that image or reputation, or faithfulness to the community into what you do outside of work. I think that’s one

of our biggest blessings. Don’t you think? That we can translate what respect we garnered over the years into service above self,

away from making the money, but still being able to contribute. And with Kids Voting, for example, since 1995, we’d been trying to teach the civic responsibility of voting for the kids. And just to

see young people growing into that, I’m so proud. And the reason I can get into schools and help is because the teachers remembered me, and they trust.


Well, you know, I know this since I’ve worked with him. I know that if a school will call up and say, We need somebody to help with our Read Aloud Program, Kirk will say, A school? Great.


COBLE:                I’ll be there.




COBLE:                Yeah.

MATTHEWS:        Are they little people? Good. I can read little people books. I

do that well.

COBLE:                All the time. I get so nervous. You know, I never used to be nervous. When you go into a newsroom, you don’t know what

to expect. You know, every day is different. You walk in, and

you’re ready once you get set down and get an assignment, and go, or think something up. In volunteer work, it never stops.

And it builds, and the nerve wracking, oh, god. I get fast- beating heart over responsibilities. So, yeah, I think it’s scary. [CHUCKLE]


And now, you would seem to be the higher strung partner in this team relationship.


COBLE:                Why do you say that?


[CHUCKLE] Well, now, but I wonder if that’s true. I mean, behind your …


COBLE:                Closed doors?



—serene countenance, is there a lot of Type A action?


MATTHEWS:     I’m not sure it’d be Type A. A-minus, maybe. You and I have worked together for a long time. Have you ever seen me get really, really mad? Maybe once.


I think for you, I have. I mean, but you have to say, Well, that’s Kirk’s style of anger. Because it’s very gentlemanly. You don’t ever put people on the spot, or make them feel bad.


MATTHEWS:        I try not to. And she’s not really high strung. She’s blond. COBLE:            [CHUCKLE]


I think that might be some kind of … some kind of law against that kind of remark.


MATTHEWS:        Sue me.




COBLE:                I was blond.





In looking back, Linda Coble and Kirk Matthews both count parents among the most important influences in their lives.


COBLE:             My father walked out of the house when I was five. He left. He had an alcohol problem, and he and Mom no longer decided they wanted to be with each other. So out he goes. I held the door.


Did you feel abandoned?


COBLE:                I didn’t. Because Mom never made it out that way. And she worked, and we had terrific babysitters. And after seven or eight years of that, she found someone else, and fortunately, they got married and happy, and so I had a brother. So, I really think my mom gave me the strength, and my sister as well. Gave my

sister the talent, the artistic talent. Gave me the strength to weather things and storms and … yeah. And that stays with you



MATTHEWS:        Her mom was a go-getter. And she lived with us for a while in her later years. Georgia Lee. She was a heck of a gal.

COBLE:                Everybody has some part of the heredity in there that’s forming them.


So, with you, your mom gave you resilience?


COBLE:                I think she did. And she gave me patience, and she taught me how to Fight back.


What about you, Kirk? Who was your most influential person in your life?


MATTHEWS:        Oh, the old man. He died real young. But he was a teacher and a coach. He liked small schools, so that he could have a one-on-one with as many students as possible. But he was a straight shooter. He never lied, never beat up anybody. But he was tough. I mean, he was in World War II, the greatest generation, and swam around in the Pacific after a boat was shot out from under him for a while. He was a tough cookie, but he was funny as heck. Here’s a good story. We had a track team at this tiny little school, and I liked pole vaulting because you don’t have to run very far, and the girls thought it was really glamorous, and so that was my event. And he said, That’s fine, but everybody has to do at least a couple, so you’ll run the eight hundred, what was back then called the eight-eighty, two laps around the track. It sounded like a lot. So, I would, you know,

jog every day. And so then the big meet comes, bang goes the gun, off these guys take like they’re chasing somebody. And I’m

the last guy, and I run, trying to catch up, and my lungs are burning, and my legs are lead. Finally get around the two laps, and I manage to pass two other guys. I collapse on the infield, and he comes over, and he’s laughing, big smile on his face.

And he’s looking down at me. I said, Why are you laughing? I came in fifth. And he said, Think about all the kids that didn’t get to run today. That was pretty potent stuff, and I’ve always

remembered that. COBLE:  M-hm, that’s right.


What’s your hope for the future of journalism?


COBLE:             That Kirk keeps working for two more years. [CHUCKLE] I hope that people calm down a bit, and don’t feel that they have to entertain me. I’m there to watch the news.


COBLE:                That Kirk keeps working for two more years. [CHUCKLE] I hope that people calm down a bit, and don’t feel that they have to entertain me. I’m there to watch the news. I want to be able to hear it when I’m in the bathroom, I don’t want a lot of banter, I want to know the headlines. And then when I come out of the room into the kitchen, I want to still keep aware of what’s going on, even though I can’t focus um, on the five, six, ten news. Um, I—I hope there’s a little toning down of the energy and a little upbringing of … delivery of what’s important, and not conversation. That’s my hope.

MATTHEWS:        It’s gonna be—it’s gonna be interesting. I mean, it’s—it’s interesting already to see what’s been going on. And we talked

about social media a little bit. Uh, my—

COBLE:                That’s—

MATTHEWS:        Just because it shows up on your Smart Phone, doesn’t make it true. So, I think if I want to be entertained, I’ll play the ukulele.

You know. I just kind of worry about the whole personality-driven

part of journalism. And I see there’s probably a place for it, but

COBLE:                There is a place for it.

MATTHEWS:        As Jack Webb used to say, Just the facts, ma’am, just give me the facts. Information is not knowledge, and knowledge is not

wisdom. You have to go through all those different paths to get to wisdom. And I would hope that we can help society at large and individuals achieve some wisdom.


As I’m speaking now in early 2013, Kirk Matthews and Linda Coble have been married for nearly twenty-nine years. Kirk continues to co-anchor the morning news on KHON2. Linda remains very active as a volunteer in Rotary and other charities, and she chairs Kids Voting Hawaii. For Long Story Short and PBS Hawaii, I’m Leslie Wilcox. A hui hou kakou.



For audio and written transcripts of this program, and all episodes of Long Story

Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit


MATTHEWS:  One of the main questions I get, because this is Hawaii, is why I wear a coat and tie. And Joe Moore and I have had this conversation, more than once. And we both agree that when you are invited into somebody’s house, that as a sign of respect you dress up, you dress the part. And that’s what we do.


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