STAR-BULLETIN GETS READY TO TAKE ON ADVERTISER

By: Joel Davis

Hawaii Newspaper Battle Begins In March


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The soon-to-be reborn Honolulu Star-
Bulletin is laying the groundwork for the Herculean task of
competing directly with The Honolulu Advertiser.

To get a head start on publishing a paper that will add morning
and Sunday editions to compete with the Gannett Co. Inc.-owned
Advertiser, Star-Bulletin Editor and Publisher John
Flanagan has left the paper’s current owner, Liberty Newspapers
Ltd., to join Black Press Ltd.

Black Press Ltd., owned by Canadian David Black, will take over
the 59,748-circulation Star-Bulletin when its joint
operating agreement (JOA) with the 106,590-circulation
Advertiser is dissolved March 15.

“The biggest challenge we’re engaged in right now is to get moved
from our current operation to our brand-new one and get the
production and distribution all set up,” Flanagan said. The new
Star-Bulletin, with a circulation goal of 100,000, will
get printing, circulation, and advertising help from
MidWeek, a 280,000-circulation magazine Black bought in
December. The deal includes the free MidWeek’s Oahu
printing plant, which will print the Star-Bulletin.

“This means [Black] now has the core non-editorial departments,
which the Star-Bulletin was lacking,” Flanagan noted.
“Under the JOA, the Star-Bulletin is just a news
department.”

Black Press Ltd.’s new Hawaii unit, Oahu Publications, held a job
fair Jan. 13 to try to fill more than 100 circulation,
advertising, and accounting openings at the Star-Bulletin.
Most newsroom positions are expected to be filled by existing
Star-Bulletin editorial staff, Flanagan said.

“There’s not a job guarantee. We really have to do a due-
diligence kind of thing and interview people and then hire them,”
he said, adding, “I expect the vast majority of the staff will
stay with us.”



Joel Davis (jdavis@editorandpublisher.com) is West Coast editor for E&P.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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