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    By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone...

Mario Machado - Pioneer Los Angeles TV and Radio Broadcaster - 1935 - 2013

Suzanne Kai

  1. Los Angeles

  2. May 6, 2013

by Suzanne Joe Kai

  1. AC - MARIO MACHADOIn Memoriam: Mario Machado 1935-2013
    Pioneer Radio and TV Newsman, Anchor and Actor

    Mario Machado, the nation's first Asian American on-air television news reporter and anchor passed away May 4, 2013 at age 78.

  1. Mario was a pioneer who blazed a trail for all of us. A pioneer with heart, he went out of his way to encourage us to follow our dreams. 

In 2010, the Asian American Journalists Association honored Mario Machado inducting him onto its new Honor Roll of Asian American Pioneers in U.S. Journalism (1925-1975) at AAJA's 29th annual National Convention in Los Angeles.

In 1999, Machado was honored by the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco. The CHSA produced this video which has excerpts of some of his early broadcasts.

As fellow pioneer television broadcaster Christopher Chow says about Mario:

"Everybody in our field and in the Asian American community owes him for opening doors for us and for helping us to gain credibility and opportunities.  Not only did he perform well on air but he actively advocated for us, for our inclusion, for the hiring and promoting of Asian Pacific Islander journalists by news media organizations all across America. 
Mario, we salute you."

Chow wrote about Mario in his "Casting Our Voices" for the Chinese Historical Society's tribute to Chinese American Pioneer Broadcasters:

"His father's Portuguese name and his Chinese mother's heritage steeled him for the travails of the mass media system that often prejudged him as a Mexican and ignored him as a Chinese American. His undeniable talent for communications made him one of the first and few ethnic minority national network sports analysts when he joined CBS Sports in 1968 as a color commentator."

Mario began his career as an on-air news reporter at KHJ-TV (now KCAL-TV) in 1967. In 1969 he became the first consumer affairs reporter
in the nation at KNXT Los Angeles (now KCBS-TV Channel 2), where he broke the story of cyclamates, a food addictive and sugar substitute that was found to be carcinogenic.

By 1970 he had become the weekend news anchor for KNXT (now KCBS-TV Channel 2), the first Asian male news anchor for a major network owned-and-operated station in the nation's #2 media market.

He is the winner and nominee of ten Emmy awards for reporting and producing, including the award-winning medical series, MEDIX.

His other credits include hosting daily radio talk shows on several Los Angeles stations, doing the play-by-play announcing for international World Cup and Olympic soccer finals as well as appearing in numerous motion picture character roles."



JET LI jet mario mike smLtoR: Mario Machado, Jet Li, Michael Kai
Among the many great things about Mario - as busy as he always was - he still found time to mentor young people. 
He didn't talk about it, he did it.  And Mario loved new ideas, new projects and new technologies.
 
I rediscovered in our archives today a live online video simulcast which Mike Kai, creator of AsianConnections.com, produced in 2000 with Mario as the host. The project Mike produced with Mario was sponsored by Warner Bros. on the eve of Jet Li's debut in its movie "Romeo Must Die" which was Li's first starring role as a leading man, and not as a villain in an American movie.

JET LI groupLtoR: Mario Machado, Wendy Chan, Jet Li, Michael Kai, Allen Wong, Jet's manager The video simulcast was an internet first - to connect a simulcast between three websites on both sides of the Pacific Rim. Mario loved that idea. He was born in Shanghai, and could speak Mandarin. Mario's conversation with Jet Li 
was broadcast in English, Cantonese and Mandarin languages between this website, AsianConnections.com in the U.S. and two websites in Asia, HongKong.com and China.com. 
 
Fans entered a contest with questions for Jet Li. The winning fans' names would be announced and the questions would be read to Jet to answer.
Mario enjoyed gathering several young people around him to ask Jet the winning questions in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. 
 
Thinking back now, those days were exciting, you could just think up crazy, fun stuff and do it - and Mario was game for new ideas. He loved every bit of the new technology. He adapted so quickly like a fish to water. 
 
In addition to Mario's busy career as a broadcast journalist, he had a busy career in the entertainment industry often playing himself as a reporter in movies such as Rocky III and RoboCop. His film and TV credits range from Scarface to Brian's Song. He had been ill for some time with Parkinson's Disease. He died Saturday at a convalescent home in West Hills, California, according to reports, from complications from pneumonia. 
 
Mario was a class act.
 
Generous, smart, humble, a beacon of wisdom, he inspired all of us. 
  1. Mario Machado, thank you. You will be greatly missed.  

 

 

About the writer: Suzanne Joe Kai is CEO and executive producer of STUDIOLA.TV and CEO of CSI International. She was an on-camera TV news reporter and program host for KRON-TV (San Francisco’s former NBC affiliate), and also worked at KCBS Newsradio (San Francisco), KTVU-TV (Bay Area’s Fox affiliate), KGO-TV (San Francisco’s ABC affiliate) and KGUN-TV (ABC affiliate in Ariz.). She is directing a documentary in development, “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres.”  In her 20s, she co-founded a national bank in a region which needed financial services and served on its board for nine years. The bank now has 69 branches and is part of a financial group listed on Nasdaq. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and a board member of the Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles chapter.  http://www.linkedin.com/in/suzannekai   @suzannekai