Philip Lee Arnone
Philip Lee ArnonePhil Arnone passed away surrounded by family at his home on February 12. He was 86 years old. If anyone in Hawaii deserves the moniker Mr. Television, it's Phil Arnone. He was best known for his work at KGMB as a director, producer, and head of local programming from the 1960s-1980s. There he produced the popular kids show Checkers & Pogo. Arnone oversaw the live production of the newscasts and set a high standard of excellence in television production that defined his career spanning six decades. Arnone possessed an uncanny sense for what would resonate with Hawaii viewers and expanded KGMB's local programming beyond news into local comedy: "All in the Ohana" and "Rap's Hawaii"; Hawaiian music "Island Music, Island Hearts"; long-running magazine show "The Hawaiian Moving Company"; and award-winning documentaries. In the late 80s Arnone went on to produce specials at KTVU (FOX) in Oakland, including programs for the 49ers, the Giants, and "Marine World's 25th Animal-versary", for which he won Emmy Awards. Returning to Hawaii in the early 2000s, Arnone launched a prolific freelance career, producing 20 television documentaries most of them on cultural icons of 20th century Hawaii: like Duke Kahanamoku, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Eddie Aikau, Don Ho, The Brothers Cazimero, and Jimmy Borges. Arnone leaves a legacy of countless hours of television enriching the lives of viewers and a generation of television professionals who continue to produce quality work. Phil is survived by his wife Michelle Honda; daughter Michele (Ringo) Pauly; son Anthony Arnone; stepdaughters Ola (Greg) Reynolds and Kai (Todd) Dickerson; 11 grandchildren; one great grandchild; and dog Ella. To honor Phil, the family asks friends to donate to PBS Hawaii for its student media program HIKI NO, (Mail to: PBS Hawaii, 315 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, HI 96819. Write For HIKI NO on the memo line of your check.)

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