May 4, 2014
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month. It struck me that Asian American’s have and are playing an increasingly prominent role in shaping our media industry. What’s even more impressive is they’ve achieved a career in media, despite overcoming their Tiger Parents disappointment in them not becoming doctors or working in the family business!
So here’s my list of Asian American Media Mavens.
Hall of Fame News Broadcaster
Connie Chung broke through the news broadcasting ceiling by co-anchoring CBS Evening News all the way back in 1993. It’s a rarity these days not see a female presenter on national or local TV news channels, thanks to Ms Chung.
Shrewd-ist Ad Sales Exec
Geri Wang, President of ABC Sales. This Upfront, look for Geri to beat out some CPM increases from Agency Media Buyers.
This has to be a tie. American Idol hopeful William Hung was the first reality star that most fellow Asian’s would rather forget. His “She Bangs” performance helped foster American Idol notoriety and YouTube fame. But we at least were able to move on and progress, when America saw its first Asian American reality show winner when Yul Kwon managed to be last Survivor standing on the island.
… at the top of that tree are Jerry Yang founder of Yahoo!, Steven Chen co-founder of YouTube, not to mention some budding new tech-preneurs such as Brian Wong, the youthful founder of Kiip. Also, I’m a fan of David Shingy, technically not American, an Aussie who’s definitely a forward thinker for the industry. Try to if you can, get the chance to hear him speak.
I met Lucy Liu at last year’s CBS Upfront party, currently starring as Watson in the delightful Elementary. But it was the Queen’s NY native role in Ally McBeal that to me was a break out for Asian American’s on television. The producers of that show chose not to type cast the sultry Asian mistress or kung fu kicking villian, but quirky Ling, surely the most interesting character on the show. I loved Mindy Kaling in the office and the delectable The Mindy Project. And I really like little known comedy Sullivan and Son, that just starting its second season on TBS this week, whose lead character is Asian. But the real star is Jodi Long who plays his Korean mom who probably breaks every rule in the PC Asian playbook, but leaves me laughing out loud.
According to my wife, Daniel Dae Kim.
Most powerful Media Owners in the Future
The arguably the most powerful Asian American’s that may inherit the media world might be two teenagers … Grace & Chloe Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch and Wendy Deng’s two daughters, who potentially could inherit a significant portion of NewsCorp and 21st Century FOX empires.
Most Innovative Media Client (and Hardest Partier)
Babs Rangiah, Vice President, Global Media Innovation & Ventures for Unilever who has helped to bring innovative media campaigns for Axe and Dove.