Tritia Toyota

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Tritia Toyota
BornMarch 29, 1947
Alma materUCLA
OccupationNews anchor
Adjunct Professor
Notable credit(s)
Spouse(s)Michael Yamaki

Tritia Toyota (born March 29, 1947) is a former Los Angeles television news anchor and a current adjunct assistant professor in anthropology, Asian American studies and the media at the University of California at Los Angeles.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Toyota was born in Portland, Oregon. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1970, and later earned a PhD in anthropology.[2][3]


Toyota began her broadcast career in Los Angeles in 1970 as a radio reporter with KNX-AM.[4] In January 1972 she was hired as a general assignment reporter at KNBC-TV; she became weekend anchor there in 1975, and was promoted to the 5 p.m. news in 1977 followed by the 11 p.m. newscast in 1978.

Toyota quit KNBC in March 1985 and, after a standard three-month period between contracts, signed on as a news anchor at KCBS-TV, where she was reunited with many of her fellow KNBC alumni (Jess Marlow and John Schubeck).

Initially anchoring at 6 and 11 p.m., by the early to mid 1990s Toyota was relegated to the morning and midday newscasts. On November 17, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that Toyota had left KCBS and that she previously had been removed from early morning and noon newscasts in September and October 1999. The story also reported that Toyota had been offered an opportunity to continue at the station and that she had declined.

In 1981, Toyota, along with reporter Bill Sing, helped to co-found the Asian American Journalists Association[5]. Toyota is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at UCLA. In 2009 she published a book "Envisioning America: New Chinese Americans and the Politics of Belonging".

Personal life[edit]

Toyota is married to Michael Yamaki and lives in the Los Angeles area.

Cultural Influences[edit]

Los Angeles punk rock band The Dickies recorded a song called "(I'm Stuck in a Pagoda with) Tricia Toyota." It is unclear whether the misspelling of Toyota's first name was deliberate or accidental.[6]

Toyota is also mentioned in "The L.A. Song," a song by L.A. hip-hop group People Under The Stairs, from their 2002 album O.S.T..[7]

The TV news reporter character Tricia Takanawa on Family Guy may have been inspired at least in part by Toyota; KTTV Fox 11 reporter Tricia Takasugi has also been suggested as a source for the character.


  1. ^ UCLA Asian American Studies Faculty Archived 2010-04-18 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Teaching at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center
  3. ^ More Than Just A Pretty (Asian American) Face « Epicanthus (Beta 0.95)
  4. ^ ~Los Angeles Radio People, Where Are They T-Z
  5. ^ Ng, Franklin (1995). The Asian American encyclopedia. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 1854356771. OCLC 30915843.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The L.A. Song" on Song Meanings