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Lifestyle // Old Friends
Nicole Kato

Jeff Chung

There’s no doubt that Jeff Chung loves the Korean culture, and as general manager of KBFD TV, he is able to promote it in Hawaii.

“Seeing how many locals have so much interest in South Korea, from food, language and travel” is what he loves most about his job.

Since being featured on MidWeek‘s cover Oct. 20, 2004, Chung is proud to announce that KBFD TV has expanded to four more channels in Hawaii, including Arirang TV (UHF 32.2, Oceanic and Hawaii Telcom), KBS (Oceanic Cable), Korean music video/movies Video on Demand (Oceanic Cable) and KTN (Korea Travel Network, the only hotel channel for the growing Korean tourist market in hotels statewide).

“We are planning to go HD by the end of 2013,” Chung says, noting that the network is planning an expansion to more channels in Hawaii. And that expansion seems to be much-needed, as Korean culture is becoming more and more popular throughout the state – especially TV dramas.

“Core family values, which is the theme to most dramas, have cross-cultural reach and are universal to all families, especially Asian families,” says Chung, who also works as a consultant linking Hawaii companies to South Korean conglomerates.

“Also, many just don’t know much about Korea and Korean culture, so it’s interesting to learn that South Korea is so modern,” he says. “With brands like Samsung, Hyundai, LG and Kia all around us, it’s hard not to be curious about Korea.”

Chung, who came to Honolulu from South Korea in 1974, married wife Claire back in 2007, and the two have a 4-year-old son, Winston, who brings joy into their lives on a daily basis.

“Becoming a husband then a father shortly after has brought my life into more focus and changed my life priority,” he explains. “Where work was first when I was single, now it’s family, then work.”

The balance he now has in his life has taught him time management, which he needs along with his additional duties.

Apart from his duties at KBFD TV, Chung still serves as a board member for Hawaii International Film Festival, which has brought a number of Korean films to the Islands since its inception in 1981. He also sits on the boards for American Red Cross, Hawaii chapter, Saint Louis School and Honolulu Festival Foundation.

And for those who need their weekly Korean drama fix, Chung has been a Sunday newspaper columnist for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser since 2005, writing synopses of all the dramas playing throughout the Islands.

Despite all that he does, he claims there’s nothing quite like having his own family.

“Marriage and fatherhood have brought me good fortune and countless blessings,” he says.

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