Archive for the ‘Honolulu Star-Bulletin’ Category
The sale of The Honolulu Advertiser to Honolulu Star-Bulletin owner David Black was completed by Gannett this morning, leaving at least 300 people out of work and a community less served.
Rick Daysog of the Advertiser writes:
“It’s hard to close this chapter and begin a new one,” Robert Dickey, president of Gannett U.S. Community Publishing, wrote in an e-mail to Advertiser employees Friday. “But in doing so, I want to sincerely thank you for your dedication to The Honolulu Advertiser and wish you all the best.”
Gannett’s exodus and the eventual merger of The Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin will leave Honolulu as a one-newspaper town and result in the loss of at least 300 jobs.
For the next estimated 30 to 60 days, The Advertiser will publish as a stand-alone newspaper run by third-party HA Management Inc.
The two dailies will be merged into a single broadsheet newspaper known as The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which will have a combined daily circulation of 135,000 to 140,000, Dennis Francis, the Star-Bulletin’s publisher told Daysog. The Star-Advertiser will employ between 300 and 600 people. The two newspapers currently have 900 employees between them.
“I know there’s a lot of angst in the community about losing a newspaper but the community decided long ago that it could not support two newspapers,” Francis told Daysog. “That decision was made by readers and advertisers.”
Daysog also writes:
Former media executives say the loss of an editorial voice will have a long-lasting impact on the local community.
The layoff of scores of journalists will mean that hundreds of stories will go unwritten each year, they said.
“It’s a real tragedy,” said Gerry Keir, who worked at The Advertiser for 27 years, rising to editor before leaving in 1995. “I don’t think there’s any question that the community is the loser.”
Three days ago the Honolulu Advertiser notified 600 employees that they could lose their jobs when owner Gannett Co. sells the newspaper and related assets to Oahu Publications Inc., owner of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin next month.
The majority owner of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, David Black, has put his newspaper up for sale. However, he has said if a buyer isn’t found, the two newspapers will merge and layoffs will occur. How many Advertiser employees would be rehired with a merger was uncertain.
The sale will be finalized late in April.
To get an ideal at how desperate Gannett is to unload the Advertiser, it is loaning Oahu Publications $40 million to make the deal happen.
Employees at Honolulu’s two newspapers are still trying to make sense of a buyout that could put them out of work, writes Duane Shimogawa of HawaiiNewsNow tonight.
Both dailies employ 900 people and all of their fates are still up in the air a day after news broke the owner of the Star-Bulletin is buying the Advertiser.
Union leaders say it’s still too early to tell how many people will be laid off. They say they haven’t met with the new owners just yet. But they did sit down with the Hawaii Newspaper and Printing Trades Council and later on Friday, they met with Gannett officials, the owners of the Advertiser, to talk about the future of employees of both papers.
There are a total of nine unions at both the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin that cover a total of about 600 employees, around 400 at the Advertiser and 200 at the Star-Bulletin.
The Hawaii Newspaper Guild represents employees from both papers.
“The company’s obligated to bargaining with us, Gannett to bargain with us over the effects of the sale and how it affects employees,” Hawaii Newspaper Guild’s Wayne Cahill said.
We do know retirees will keep their pensions and all workers will continue under their current contracts for now.
“The company has the right to do layoffs under both union contracts,” Cahill said. “They have to do any layoffs by seniority that is that most recently hired would be the first to be fired.”
Cahill says Advertiser employees are guaranteed their jobs until the day of the sale.