Honolulu Star Advertiser

| Suggest an Edit

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is the largest daily newspaper in Hawaii and the only daily newspaper left on Oahu. It is published by Oahu Publishing Inc., which also publishes the largest weekly newspaper on the islands, MidWeek. The Star-Advertiser was born of The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in June 2010.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser published its first edition on Monday June 7, 2010, after the U.S. Justice Department gave permission to the paper’s owner, David Black, to close the Star-Bulletin. No buyer could be found for the Star-Bulletin after Black put it up for sale, claiming losses of about $100 million over the 10 years he owned the paper. He put the paper up for sale after making a bid to buy the larger Advertiser from its owner, Gannett.

Overview

Oahu Publishing Inc. publishes the Honolulu Star-Advertiser seven days a week in broadsheet format. It also publishes a website.

The emergence of the Star-Bulletin as the victor in Honolulu’s newspaper competition was unexpected because the Advertiser had by far the largest circulation of the two papers and a much higher quality printing plant. It also had as owner the largest newspaper company in America. That company, however, is known to prefer non-competitive market. The owner of the Star-Bulletin had been tenacious in keeping the paper alive, and with MidWeek had a valuable asset to help it do so.

The Star-Advertiser is being led by former Star-Bulletin senior executives, including that paper’s publisher and editor.

The latest audited figures for the Star-Advertiser as of Oct. 1, 2011, are for the three-month period ending Dec. 31, 2010. They show the paper’s Sunday circulation as 130,757 and its daily circulation as 117,885.

History

The Advertiser got its start in 1856 as the Pacific Commercial Advertiser. The Bulletin was the first daily newspaper on Oahu, launching in 1882. In 1912, the Evening Bulletin merged with another paper, the Hawaiian Star.

A pivotal moment in the history of the papers came on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Star-Bulletin published extra editions and the Advertiser didn’t, because of mechanical problems with its presses. The Star-Bulletin also distinguished itself by not using a racist term to describe the Japanese, unlike the Advertiser, which did.

The Star-Bulletin and Advertiser entered into a joint operating agreement in the early 1960s. The two papers were published by the Honolulu Newspaper Agency. The Star-Bulletin was purchased by Gannett, America’s largest newspaper chain, in 1971. Almost 20 years later, in 1992, Gannett sold the Star-Bulletin to Liberty Newspapers and purchased the Advertiser.

In 1998, Gannett announced that it was going to buy out Liberty’s stake in the Star-Bulletin and shut it down. After a lawsuit to block the closure, the Star-Bulletin was put up for sale and David Black purchased it for $10,000. He began publishing the Star-Bulletin in March 2001. Nine years later, Gannett agreed to sell the Advertiser to Black.

Impact

The fact that Honolulu has joined most American cities as a one-newspaper town means that advertising rates will be higher; the community will have fewer options where to turn for news and to get broad exposure for different points of view; and commercial printing rates will be higher and options more limited. The result has already been visible in the Honolulu Weekly‘s decision to choose to print on Maui rather than be restricted to the Star-Advertiser’s size and accept its rate hikes.

Key Players

Have feedback? Suggestions? Email Us!

Honolulu Star Advertiser
Star-Advertiser Employees Rally To Protest Layoffs Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Star-Advertiser Employees Rally To Protest Layoffs

More than 30 newsroom staffers have lost their jobs at Hawaii’s biggest newspaper in the past year amid ongoing contract negotiations.

Star-Advertiser Cuts Nearly 10 Percent Of Its Newsroom Staff Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Star-Advertiser Cuts Nearly 10 Percent Of Its Newsroom Staff

The Honolulu-based company on Friday laid off two prominent columnists and eight other editorial employees.

Reader Rep: Star-Advertiser Should Stop Skipping State Journalism Contest

Reader Rep: Star-Advertiser Should Stop Skipping State Journalism Contest

The islands’ biggest media outlet has been a conspicuous no show in the Society of Professional Journalists’ annual competition.

Reader Rep: The News Media’s Shifting World Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Reader Rep: The News Media’s Shifting World

Codes of ethics, questionable ads and audience sizes: Sometimes writing about just one topic a week doesn’t cut it.

Reader Rep: Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi Scandal Stains Journalist, Too Screenshot: Na Leo TV

Reader Rep: Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi Scandal Stains Journalist, Too

The criminal trial of the Big Island mayor demonstrates why reporters shouldn’t cross the line between journalism and politics.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser To Cut 15 Newsroom Jobs Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu Star-Advertiser To Cut 15 Newsroom Jobs

The state’s largest newspaper trims its news staff by more than 10 percent as part of a cost-cutting initiative.

Job Cuts At The Star-Advertiser By ‘End Of The Month’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Job Cuts At The Star-Advertiser By ‘End Of The Month’

A management-union dispute leads to the rescinding of a second voluntary buyout offer at Honolulu’s daily newspaper.

Star-Advertiser Rescinds Buyout Offer For Newsroom Employees Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Star-Advertiser Rescinds Buyout Offer For Newsroom Employees

The company blames the employees union and is now likely to proceed with an unknown number of involuntary job cuts.
How Retail Ad Decline Is Hurting Newspapers — Even In Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Retail Ad Decline Is Hurting Newspapers — Even In Hawaii

The looming job cuts at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser underscore the struggle to boost digital revenue as print ads fall off.

Job Cuts Loom At The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Job Cuts Loom At The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

A decline in national advertising is taking a toll on the largest newspaper in the state.
Hawaii Should Publish Government Legal Notices On the Internet Flickr.com/NS Newsflash

Hawaii Should Publish Government Legal Notices On the Internet

Newspaper industry masks self-interest in arguments for preserving government business.