Honolulu Star-Advertiser Creates a Digital Broadcast

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According to David Kennedy, chief revenue officer of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Oahu Publications, Inc, the days of waiting for the five o’clock for news on your TV will soon go away due to the rise of mobile usage.

As a result, the Star-Advertiser is planning ahead and innovating with video and podcasting. For example, the newspaper launched “It’s a Hawaii Thing,” a TV show and a podcast that spotlights island lifestyle and celebrities in June. One of their latest novelties is Star News Live, a new live digital broadcast where host Kiana Cayabyab delivers the latest breaking news, sports and trending stories from staradvertiser.com. Cayabyab is a former Miss Hawaii and has worked at new stations such as ABC7 in Los Angeles as well as for Fox Sports and NFL Sunday. In addition, she is a local from Kauai and fluent in the Hawaiian language which is important to the Star-Advertiser audience.

The Star News Live broadcast officially launched on Aug. 31 and airs Monday through Friday at 3 p.m. (HST) on the newspaper’s Facebook account. The video is then archived on Facebook and the newspaper’s website and uploaded to YouTube, Instagram and Spotify. Due to the pandemic, Cayabyab delivers the broadcast out of her home. However, the Star-Advertiser has a studio available which she will be able to use once it is safe to return. 

Each broadcast is currently about three minutes long and delivers about three headlines. Kennedy said that the broadcast will extend to five minutes soon and slowly increase from there to perhaps 10 minutes. The headlines are curated by Star-Advertiser editors. Current headlines revolve around COVID-19 and politics.

When E&P spoke to Kennedy in September, Star News Live had only been live a few weeks and they were still working on building a solid audience, but Kennedy shared that three recently launched shows had 311,000 views across Facebook, YouTube and Instagram over the course of the month.

The podcast shows have been successful in creating a new revenue stream, Kennedy said. The new platforms have attracted advertisers who haven’t worked with the paper ever or for quite a few years. The publication has hopes to replicate the same success for the live broadcast when it becomes a longer format.

“Facebook Live and podcasts are a new media, and it’s great media for newspapers because you don’t really need a lot of resources in order to be a broadcaster now,” Kennedy said. “So why don’t we start using our own assets to make our own revenues and also have a different interaction with our readers and expand our base beyond our readership.”

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