The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s parent company, Oahu Publications Inc., is expanding its reach over Hawaii media.
OPI President Dennis Francis announced Wednesday that the company is buying both Big Island daily newspapers, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today, for an undisclosed amount from Stephens Media, based in Las Vegas.
The acquisition comes less than two years after OPI, which is owned by Canada-based media giant Black Press, bought Kauai’s only daily newspaper, The Garden Island, for $2 million from Lee Enterprises.
Oahu Publications Inc. announced Wednesday that it’s buying both Big Island daily newspapers.
The purchase of TGI followed the 2010 merger of Honolulu’s two daily newspapers, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser, into what has become the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. In that deal, the Bulletin, owned by Black, bought the Advertiser, a Gannett paper.
The merger of the state’s two largest dailies resulted in 453 people ultimately being laid off, according to a Star-Advertiser report. Initial reports estimated up to 400 people would lose their jobs.
The sale of TGI resulted in roughly 27 of 42 employees losing their jobs. All the press, circulation and accounting jobs were axed, as were three editorial positions and some in advertising. TGI employees were initially told in January 2013 that only 14 jobs would be lost.
Francis said in a Star-Advertiser story Wednesday that the purchase of TGI turned out to be positive, noting is was “good for the newspaper, good for employees and good for the residents of Kauai.” He added that the company was able to bring back the Saturday edition and improve technology for the digital edition.
Francis said the two Big Island papers will maintain their editorial independence and will continue to be printed at the West Hawaii Today printing facility in Kona, according to the Star-Advertiser report.
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