Pam Chen has been named vice president/news director of ABC7/KABC-TV Los Angeles, announced Tuesday by Cheryl Fair, president and general manager of the station, to whom she will report.
Chen will be responsible for directing the Eyewitness News team for ABC7, the No. 1 source for local news in Southern California. The promotion makes Chen the first Asian American to lead a news department at a network-owned local television station in Los Angeles.
“Pam Chen is an innovative journalist, producer, mentor and leader at KABC, equally and fiercely dedicated to both the success of Eyewitness News and the people in the newsroom that she works with daily,” said Fair. “Pam shows that hard work, character, compassion and commitment are the ingredients for success. I am confident in her leadership and look forward to what is to come.”
“It’s an absolute honor to be entrusted to lead this newsroom,” said Chen. “The Eyewitness News team is comprised of world-class individuals that I’ve been working side-by-side and collaborating with throughout my 15 years at KABC. I am looking forward to leading this remarkable team as we continue to strengthen the connections to our local communities across Southern California through high-impact hyperlocal and relevant storytelling.”
Chen began her career at KABC as a morning producer of the Eyewitness News 5 a.m. newscast, later transitioning to producing the evening newscast (4 and 5 p.m.). She was instrumental in the launch and syndication of KABC’s first weekly entertainment show, “On the Red Carpet.” The syndicated show profiled the red carpet moments of celebrities at the Oscars®, the American Music Awards, movie premieres, as well as behind the scenes of the biggest TV shows and movies, while shooting every week throughout Hollywood.
Chen returned to news as executive producer in 2014 and later took a lead role in implementing an entirely new operating and editing system for the newsroom. She also launched Eyewitness News at 3 p.m. as a distinctive hour-long newscast.
She was a key leader in the team that covered some of the biggest news events, including the San Bernardino terrorist attack, Las Vegas shooting, wildfires, earthquakes, the ongoing homeless crisis, Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash and the COVID-19 pandemic, to name a few. Chen’s leadership was evident in the breaking news and ongoing coverage of the Saddle Ridge Fire, resulting in nearly 24 hours of continuous broadcast and digital breaking news coverage, as well as numerous powerful storms that pummeled Southern California, which ultimately led to KABC receiving two first-place Associated Press Television and Radio Awards (APTRA) for Breaking News Coverage and Best Weather Reporting, respectively.
In 2019, she was elevated to assistant news director and she oversaw business initiatives that included the launch of a group-wide community journalist program at KABC. Her responsibilities, which happen to be her passion, were mentoring and guiding young, multi-skilled journalists in creating innovative storytelling techniques with a hyper-local content focus.
In the past year, her leadership and direction helped lead the newsroom to three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards by the Radio Television Digital News Association for news coverage, including the Overall Excellence Award. Chen holds a master’s degree in marketing from University of Southern California Marshall Business School and a bachelor’s degree in communications/media studies from UC San Diego. She is also a member of the Asian American Journalists Association.