Kaity Tong Biography
Kaity Tong is an American award-winning television journalist who was born in China. Since 1981, she has worked as a television news anchor in New York City.
How old is Kaity Tong? – Age
She is 74 years old as of 23 July 2021. She was born in 1947 in Qingdao, China.
Kaity Tong Family
Kaity and her family immigrated to the United States when she was four years old. Her parents’ names were anglicized to George and Anita Tong. In 1985, she became a citizen of the United States. Her great-uncle, Hollington Tong, a Chinese ambassador to the United States and an acclaimed author, motivated her to become a journalist as she grew up in Washington, D.C. Her mother worked as a broadcaster and producer for the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. She is a 77th generation descendant of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher.
Who is Kaity Tong’s husband? – Husband
Tong has a son, Philip Long, from her first marriage to Robert Long, a former news director and vice president of KNBC-TV in Los Angeles until September 25, 2009. She later married and divorced photographer Patrick Callahan.
What is Kaity Tong Salary?
She earns an annual salary of $750,000 per.
What is Kaity Tong’s Net Worth?
She has an estimated net worth of $4 million.
Kaity Tong Career
Tong began her television career as a reporter for KPIX-TV in San Francisco from 1976 until 1979. Tong was employed as a writer for the station before being invited to do an on-air test and was quickly moved to a street reporter, with her first on-air story being a report on the new airport carts. In December 1979, she joined KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California as co-anchor of the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, where she quickly rose to the top of Sacramento’s television news personalities.
She came to WABC-TV in New York City in 1981. She co-anchored the station’s 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts for the next two years, first with Tom Snyder from 1983 to 1984 and then with Ernie Anastos until 1986. After Roger Grimsby was fired in 1986, she went to the 6 p.m. program, rotating the anchor chair with John Johnson alongside Bill Beutel, while also co-anchoring the 11 p.m. show with Anastos until he left for WCBS in 1989. Beutel eventually became the single anchor of the 11 p.m. news, while she remained the sole anchor of the 6 p.m. show.
In the 1984 feature film Moscow on the Hudson, she played herself, reporting on the defection of a Soviet circus performer played by Robin Williams. In Wolf, City Hall, Marci X, Night Falls on Manhattan, and the 2004 adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate, she played a newscaster.
Her dismissal from WABC-TV in 1991 sparked widespread uproar. Susan Roesgen, who came from a small Midwestern station and never adjusted to New York, lasted barely a year on WABC-TV, was her replacement. Tong’s Chinese-American ancestry, according to a “Coalition of Asian-American New Yorkers,” was the reason. Others defended Tong, claiming that her age, which was over 40 at the time, was a major factor in her dismissal. Tong was fired from the station because of her excessive income, which was $750,000 per year at the time. Thomas Murphy, chairman of Capital Cities/ABC, claimed it was “strictly a commercial choice.” According to Tong, her direct supervisor, Channel 7 Vice President and General Manager Walter Liss, agreed that Tong’s 11 p.m. newscast had the highest rating in that time slot, but he desired “a far bigger No. 1” and had a vision of how television should look in the 1990s. She joined WPIX as the station’s top female anchor in early 1992 and has remained there ever since.
From January 1992 to September 1992, she co-anchored the station’s 10 p.m. newscast with Marvin Scott, from September 1992 to October 1998, with Jack Cafferty, and from October 1998 to 2010, when Jim Watkins was sacked. She has been the station’s weekend anchor since then. When former news director Karen Scott and other experienced broadcast people lost their jobs in 2010, Tong was involved in a lawsuit filed by Scott against WPIX for age discrimination. Scott and other veteran broadcast personnel later testified in court. Tong returned to weekdays in January 2016, co-anchoring a new 6:30 p.m. newscast with longtime WWOR anchor Brenda Blackmon. The newscast was canceled in September 2016, and Tong was relegated to weekends.
Kaity Tong Awards
The Women’s Project presented Tong with the Exceptional Achievement Award, which she shared with Gloria Steinem and Beverly Sills. She was the first woman to receive the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International. The New York Women’s Agenda also presented her with a Star award. The Chinese America Arts Council has honored her for her outstanding communication skills.
She was honored by the Chinese-American Planning Council as a Distinguished Woman and the Organization of Chinese Americans as a Champion of Excellence. Tong received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for her efforts as a naturalized citizen. Tong received the Governor’s Emmy Award in 2018 from the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences “for her four decades of presenting the news with integrity and compassion.” Tong has won many Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Event Coverage in 2003 for “9/11 America Remembers” and Outstanding Single Newscast over 35 Minutes in 2004 for “WB11 News at 10: 9/11 Day of Tribute.”