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Where did Gia Vang go? KARE 11 news anchor to join NBC Bay Area

Bruno Cooke June 21, 2022
where did gia vang go

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Gia Vang was the first Hmong American TV news anchor to grace the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

But after three years with KARE 11, she’s headed west.

“It is not lost on me that I’m leaving a position at the station where I am the only news anchor of colour,” she said during her final broadcast.

Where did KARE 11 news anchor Gia Vang go, and how have her audiences reacted to her leaving?

Source: YouTube [KARE 11]

Where did Gia Vang go? Hmong news anchor leaves KARE 11 after three years

KARE 11 bid a fond farewell to Gia Vang on Friday, 17 June 2022. She made a great impression during her three years with the station.

She joined in 2019 after working at a TV station in Fresno, California.

Gia Vang revealed via an Instagram post yesterday that she’s “headed to San Francisco” with artist partner Jordan Weeb and “Teddy” – Jordan calls him “Tedward”

She’s “excited to join the team” at NBC Bay Area, “but will continue to share the stories of the Asian experience in the Midwest and upper Midwest”.

Watch the video below:

Gia Vang’s move to NBC Bay Area represents a return to the state she grew up in

Vang cut her teeth working at a TV station in Fresno, California, and was born in Modesto.

She is one of ten siblings born to refugee parents who fled Laos during the Vietnam War. 

Moving to work for NBC Bay Area therefore represents a return to her home state of California. Weeb posted on Instagram that he and Gia were “heading back west next week after three years of a whole lot of happenings”. 

“In my time here I have felt lucky,” Gia Vang wrote on Instagram three days ago, referring to her years as a news anchor for KARE 11. 

“To be here to cover the tragedy of the murder of George Floyd to the joys of our Olympian Suni Lee, I believe I was meant to be here.”

Source: YouTube [KARE 11]

She previously made headlines by co-founding the Very Asian campaign with Michelle Li

The Very Asian Foundation provides resources for the expansion of Asian stories and experiences. 

Gia Vang is co-founder of the organisation; fellow journalist Michelle Li launched it with her in January 2022.

Vang’s interest in the project stems from her passion for “exploring and documenting New American stories”, per her bio on the Very Asian website. She is the first news anchor of Hmong descent in a major US market.

The Hmong are an indigenous people who mainly live in Southwest China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Note: The Hmong are an ethnic group, not a nationality.

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How have Gia Vang’s KARE 11 audiences reacted to her leaving the station?

Gia Vang shared her NBC Bay Area announcement on various social media channels and, when she did, she received a warm farewell.

“We’ll miss you,” wrote one of her fans on Twitter. “You were a breath of fresh air.”

Another recommended a song to “send you on your way”. It’s Scott McKenzie’s If You’re Going To San Francisco.

On Instagram, meanwhile, numerous people – including Very Asian co-founder Michelle Li – wished her good fortune for the next stage of her career.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.