Honolulu Star Advertiser

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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

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Honolulu Star Advertiser

October 2017

Thursday, October 26

Star-Advertiser Employees Rally To Protest Layoffs

September 2017

Tuesday, September 12

Star-Advertiser Cuts Nearly 10 Percent Of Its Newsroom Staff

July 2017

Monday, July 10

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

March 2017

Monday, March 6

Reader Rep: The News Media’s Shifting World

October 2016

Monday, October 31

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

September 2016

Tuesday, September 27

Honolulu Star-Advertiser To Cut 15 Newsroom Jobs

Wednesday, September 21

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

August 2016

Tuesday, August 23

Star-Advertiser Rescinds Buyout Offer For Newsroom Employees

Monday, August 15

How Retail Ad Decline Is Hurting Newspapers — Even In Hawaii

Wednesday, August 3

Job Cuts Loom At The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

February 2012

Wednesday, February 8

Hawaii Should Publish Government Legal Notices On the Internet

August 2011

Monday, August 29

Fact Check — Honolulu Star-Advertiser: New Study Gives National Park ‘Poor’ Rating

Saturday, August 27

The Way Journalism Works in Hawaii — Or Doesn’t

Monday, August 1

The Star-Advertiser’s Feeble Circulation Boast

July 2011

Tuesday, July 26

Star-Advertiser Wants Oahu Residents to Pay More than Mainlanders

Monday, July 25

DISCUSSION: Honolulu Star-Advertiser To Charge for Website

Tuesday, July 12

Berg Falsely Accuses Paper of Censoring Comments

June 2011

Saturday, June 11

One-Newspaper Town: ‘Continued Growth’? Really?

March 2011

Wednesday, March 23

Off The Beat: What Gets Biggest Headline in Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Monday, March 14

In One-Newspaper Town, Star-Advertiser Confuses Advertising and News

February 2011

Wednesday, February 9

Who Paid for Poll Showing Support for Development?

August 2010

Tuesday, August 31

Audience Disrupts TV Debate

June 2010

Wednesday, June 30

Harsh? Who Me? Holding Mirror to Star-Advertiser