Honolulu Officially a One-Paper Town: ‘Advertiser’ Sold

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By: E&P Staff

Gannett Co. officially completed its sale of The Honolulu Advertiser to Honolulu Star-Bulletin owner David Black on Monday morning, making the Aloha State’s capital and largest city the latest one-newspaper town.

Now that the nation’s largest newspaper chain has left the market, the Advertiser will publish as a stand-alone newspaper run by third-party HA Management Inc. for the next month or two, the Advertiser reported Monday.

At least 300 jobs will be lost as the two dailies merge to become a single broadsheet, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Its combined circ will be in the range of 135,000 to 140,000, Dennis Francis, the Star-Bulletin’s publisher, told Advertiser reporter Rick Daysog.

Advertiser workers received layoff notices on March 9, stating they would be terminated at the closing of the asset sale.

The sale, announced in late February, passed antitrust muster last week when the U.S. Justice Department said it had closed its investigation. Star-Bulletin owner Black was required by the Justice Department to try to sell the paper after he made the unexpected offer to buy the Advertiser. The sale attracted just two bidders, none of which were approved.

On Friday, Gannett U.S. Community Publishing President Robert Dickey wrote in an e-mail to Advertiser employees, “It’s hard to close this chapter and begin a new one. But in doing so, I want to sincerely thank you for your dedication to The Honolulu Advertiser and wish you all the best.”

Gannett bought the Advertiser in 1993 for $250 million.

Black told the Advertiser that the Star-Bulletin has lost more than $100 million since he took it over in 2001.

This story has been corrected. The original headline incorrectly stated that the Star-Bulletin had been sold.

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