SAN JOSE — NBC Bay Area reporter George Kiriyama has left the station after eight years and two months “to search for new opportunities.”

In a March 31 Facebook post, Kiriyama said, “I am deeply honored to have worked side by side with such a talented group of journalists. For nearly a decade, I enjoyed sharing the stories that mattered the most to our viewers.

George Kiriyama
George Kiriyama

“To my fellow NBC Bay Area journalists…you were more than just a team to me. You were my family.

“Thank you, NBC Bay Area, for an opportunity I will never forget. Onward and forward …”

Kiriyama traveled around the country as a television reporter for more than nine years before returning home to California in 2006 to report for NBC Bay Area.

He began his broadcasting career in Midland/Odessa, Texas. From there, his career took him north to Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo. During his four years in Michigan, he was honored by the Michigan Associated Press for his individual reporting and received an honorable mention from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for his series “Surviving the Economic Slowdown.”

He spent four years as a general assignment reporter in Kansas City, Mo., before coming back to California to join NBC Bay Area.

Kiriyama was nominated for an Emmy in 2008 for his role in the NBC Bay Area documentary “Dreams to Dust: Americans Interned.” In that program about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, he interviewed members of his family who experienced the camps. Two of his colleagues, traffic anchor Mike Inouye and meteorologist Rob Mayeda, were also featured.

Kiriyama was nominated for a second Emmy in 2010 for his live reporting during a downtown Oakland riot sparked by anger over the New Year’s Day shooting death of Oscar Grant.

He has been very active in the Asian American Journalists Association, serving as the national vice president for broadcast. In 2007, he was named AAJA Member of the Year.

The son of Iku Kiriyama and the late George Kiriyama, he graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1994 and was inducted into the school’s Wall of Fame in 2006.

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