Q13’s Lily Jang: Re-purposed Journalist Goes Home

Posted: January 9, 2012 in journalism

Five mornings a week for the last seven years, while you were sleeping – Lily Jang has gotten up to go to work. Her alarm clock is set for 3:45 am. “I never hit the snooze button,” says Jang. “I get paid to be myself.” Lily Jang has worked in Seattle TV news for 11 years, for the last seven as the lead morning anchor for the Q13 Morning News

http://www.q13fox.com/news/mornings/
Still, in six weeks all that will change. Because Lily Jang is leaving Seattle to go back home to Texas. Her new purpose? Connecting with family and starting a new job as morning anchor for KHOU-TV (CBS) in Houston. She was born in Vietnam. Her parents, Vivian and David Jang are Chinese. She is fluent in Cantonese and Vietnamese. Jang says her main purpose is to be with her father who’s suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
“Everything I ever did was because of my parents,” Jang says.

Right now she just wants to tell stories, mainly those she considers “American Dream” profiles. Her inspiration comes from her mother and father. Vivian Jang got out of Vietnam with Lily and her brother in the spring of 1975 when Saigon fell to Communist forces. Because of bureaucratic red tape her dad had to wait three years to get out of the country.

Her mom worked as a secretary. “All they ever did was support me.” Eventually the couple opened a Chinese restaurant and grew the business. “Everything they ever did was because of me and my brother.
But today, with her father suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Jang feels it’s time to go home. “If not now – when?” she asks. On a recent trip back to Texas Lily noticed her dad’s shaking (a tell-tale sign of Parkinson’s) had gotten noticeably worse. But Lily says being at her father’s side seems to break the side effects of Parkinson’s – for now. Jang says being back home will make her father happy. Her parents still live in the Houston house in which Lily grew up.
Jang graduated from the University of Texas http://www.utexas.edu/ with a degree in broadcast journalism. One person who always believed in her was her mentor, James Lynch, Q13 News reporter. Lynch was an anchor in Austin, Texas when Jang was just getting into the business. As a young reporter she bugged him for advice. Lynch used to implore Lily to “give it your 150 (percent).” He was among those giving the young journalist encouragement but Jang’s always had enough confidence. “I got into the business with the attitude that I could do better than that girl.”

“And being nosey helps.”

Lily Jang is a journalist who embraces social media with both arms. She has 19,000 Twitter followers and 6,200 Facebook friends. When she first mentioned her plan to leave Seattle TV news a few weeks ago, she got 580 comments on her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/iamlilyjang?ref=ts . She read every one. They were overwhelmingly supportive. But as much as she uses social media, Lily describes herself as a private person. And she marvels at the idea that what she’s doing is some grand gesture. “I don’t think it’s such a big deal. I’m not obliged to do this, it’s an honor. My parents did everything so my brother and I could live the American Dream.”

“And when you make a decision from the heart you never regret it.”

Lily Jang’s last day anchoring the Q13 Morning News is Friday, February 10th, 2012. That’ll be her last day of “sleeping in”. Three days later she begins her new morning job at KHOU-TV.  Then she’ll be setting her alarm for 2:30am.

http://www.q13fox.com/about/station/newsteam/jang/

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Comments
  1. Ryan Krizan says:

    Good luck, Lily! Thank you for all of your dedication, class and humor. You’re will be missed!

  2. Deano says:

    Good post. Lily is a fantastic news personality, who is happy to chat with her fans in Seattle. She makes the morning news a brighter place! She will be missed here, but she is doing something important for her family, which should always come first. 🙂

  3. Su Ring says:

    I’ve known Lily since her days working at NWCN. She has always been unfailingly cheerful and opitimistic, even when things seemed to not be going so well. I’m so proud and happy that she’s getting this opportunity to keep doing news, while being closer to her family. Houston is very lucky. They’re getting a gem.

  4. Kim Kingston says:

    Lilly you will be missed so much here. I know what you are doing is the right thing to do. You keep in touch on twitter and Facebook. Good luck in your future. Again we will miss you terribly.

  5. Bill Nelson says:

    Lilly,

    You’ve made an excellent decision, basing it upon all the right reasons in life, including a strong commitment to family.

    The folks in Houston will be pleasantly surprised during their upcoming morning wakeup TV-watching routines by your constant effervescence and charm, and later on find out that you can handle yourself quite well under breaking news situations (a skill that takes multiple trials under fire, and time in place in the anchor chair over the years to learn to successfully handle).

    Your time here in Seattle was well noted, and it was a pleasure to work with you on the Morning Show at The Q.

  6. Scott Taylor says:

    Lilly,I went and took care of my parents last year after my Mom had a stroke.It was the best decision I ever made,and it brought me closer to them.Thank you for being on my friends list and keeping me up to date with everything back home..I will miss you on q13 but respect your decision.P.S. My mom just got her drivers license back 1 year after her stroke.She is doing great and I know your Father will benefit from your move..Keep in touch ok?

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