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Alumni & Friends


Kim Yonenaka and Joe Fonzi take fans behind the scenes of the San Francisco 49ers. Photo by Lui Gino de GrandisTakling a New Assignment

Kim Yonenaka (B.A., '92), co-host of the new "49ers Total Access" television program, was familiar with the SFSU campus long before she was old enough to enroll in classes. Years ago, while her parents, Hideo and Shanna Yonenanka, taught biology, she rolled her Barbie van through the hallways outside their classrooms. "My mom would see me [coming] and shut the door," she says.

Yonenaka grew up and returned to SFSU to cut her broadcasting teeth with the help of professors Phil Kipper and Val Sakovich. "Kim was the type of person who had the talent and enthusiasm already, and improved consistently week after week," says Sakovich, her instructor in a sports broadcasting class. "She has charisma in person and on camera."

Yonenaka and her peers rotated duties on student-run newscasts and Gator sports telecasts. She also operated
cameras for the Giants and was an intern for CNN's San Francisco bureau. "[CNN] let me do the 'man on the street' [interviews]," she says. "I remember being really excited when my hand was on TV!" Now a veteran reporter, she has stayed connected to SFSU, returning periodically to give advice to radio and television students.

On "49ers Total Access," Yonenaka -- who had covered morning breaking news on KTVU for several years -- interviews players, coaches and broadcasters. Joined by co-host Joe Fonzi, she also introduces highlights and features on 49ers history, players and coaches and their work in the community. The program airs weekly throughout the football season on several Bay Area channels.

Covering football is no stretch for Yonenaka. A longtime sports fan, she grew up idolizing legendary players Joe Montana and Ray Wersching. She's also no stranger to competition herself. Yonenanaka holds the sixth-place record for career points for Gator women's swimming.

-- Matt Itelson


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Last modified December 16, 2005, by the Office of Public Affairs and Publications