Paul Guanzon was born in Wahiawa in the Koolau Mountains on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. As Paul always says, “Hawaii is fantasy and New York is reality and that’s why I love working in the Big Apple.”
Paul has been at 1010 WINS since the summer of 1986, originally hired to do sports.
He became the first person to do “live” sports on WINS on a regular basis in the fall of ’86. Before that the sportscasters used to tape their reports and hand them to the three morning anchors.
Paul has been the overnight news anchor since 1991 and although he has worked all of the other shifts, he prefers doing the overnights on 1010 WINS saying, “It’s the only time I feel wide awake…I guess my body clock is still on Hawaiian time.”
Before arriving at 1010 WINS, Paul spent two years as a sportscaster for ABC Radio doing the afternoon reports on the “Direction” Network.
One of his experiences was filling in for the great Howard Cosell who did a commentary on the ABC Contemporary Network. One day the engineers had problems getting Cosell’s line hooked up from his Manhattan apartment, and with less than a minute to go before his national broadcast, Guanzon was told to get into studio to fill in — and Paul says, “I didn’t have a script.”
He added, “I was lucky that it was opening day of the baseball season and the producers kept handing me summaries of all the completed games…ripped directly from the wires and I read them in my best Cosell impersonation, as slowly as I could.”
Paul spent a short time on TV in New York City…a very short time (one year) working as a sports reporter for channel 7 WABC. Paul says it was the longest year of his life, working 14 hours a day 7 days a week with no overtime. Paul likes to tell people that he and Tom Snyder left the station on the same day. “But I don’t think Snyder remembers that,” Paul says.
Before Channel 7, Paul worked as a sports anchor for the Westinghouse owned Satellite News Channel in Stamford, Connecticut, which is now defunct. But Paul says it wasn’t his fault. “Sadly, S-N-C folded after I left there for Channel 7.”
Paul’s broadcasting career began at a 5,000 watt station in Waikiki where he worked as a Hawaiian music disk jockey for three years while going to the University of Hawaii. Paul also spent one year as a country music DJ at a station in Waipahu, in rural Oahu after a professor told him, “If you want to be a success in radio, you have to work at least one year as a country DJ.” And Paul believed him. He says, “I went by the name of Jim Shoes because Art Gallery was too hard to say.”
After his stint as the country DJ, Paul was hired as a sportscaster for the ABC TV affiliate in Honolulu, KITV Channel 4 where he spent the next eighy years.
During his first week on the job, Paul says, “They made me go to Maui to cover a tennis tournament that Jimmy Connors was playing in, and because he was the top player in the world at the time my boss said not to come back until you get an interview with the tempestuous Connors.”
“Well,” Paul says, “Connors was more than accommodating. In fact, he spent more than a half hour doing an exclusive interview knowing that I was just a rookie reporter. Since then, Jimmy Connors has remained at the top of my good guys list as far as athletes are concerned.”
Besides the three nightly sportscasts, Paul did everything at KITV which included hosting the University of Hawaii football coaches weekly show and the TV play-by-play for the UH football games, which meant traveling on the road to the mainland. He also did Chaminade University basketball.
During that same time, Paul also did a sports talk show on a Honoulu radio station. It was during one of those broadcasts that a caller asked him if it took a lot of politics for a person to get a job as a sportscaster and Paul replied, “No, it’s not politics, it’s who you know.” The quote was printed in Sports Illustrated a few weeks later and later printed in a 1993 book entitled “The 776 Stupidest Things Ever Said.” Paul claims he was misquoted.
Paul was also the first TV reporter in Hawaii to use videotape as a means of news and sports gathering in the mid ’70′s. It took the other two TV stations in Honolulu three years to realize that videotape was the quickest and cheapest way of getting news on the air….
One of Paul’s favorite experiences on Hawaiian TV was being able to travel to Hong Kong for a week in 1979 to cover the annual dragon boat races.
Paul considers himself fortunate to be in a business that has allowed him to interview the likes of Arnold Schwarznegger (when he was just a body builder) to Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, Yogi Berra and the legendary Joe DiMaggio. But above all he’ll be the first person to say that working at 1010 WINS is the best job he ever had… “It’s the New York Yankees of radio.”
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