Lillian Lincoln Howell (left), 85, started KTSF Channel 26 in San Francisco 30 years ago today (Sept. 4) to serve the Asian and Asian American market, which then accounted for 5 percent of Bay Area viewers. Today, that demographic now represents 20 percent of the Bay Area. “KTSF was a real pioneer, and she was the force behind it. An aging white lady,” says Sandy Close, executive director of New America Media, a national association of ethnic media based in San Francisco. “The Bay Area is a leader in innovation and risk-taking. Maybe that’s why we’ve always been a standout. We’ve always attracted eccentrics.” Chronicle writer Vanessa Hua covers the station’s first 30 years in this article. (Chronicle photo by Liz Hafalia.)

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