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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 26, 2010

Layoffs likely if Advertiser, Star-Bulletin merge

 •  Bulletin owner buys Advertiser

Advertiser Staff

Question: Will I still get my morning papers?

Answer: Yes, both dailies will be published independently by their current owners while Oahu Publications Inc. tries to sell the Star-Bulletin.

Q: What happens if the Star-Bulletin doesn't sell?

A: The operations of both dailies will be consolidated to create a single daily newspaper.

Q: Will there be layoffs?

A: Yes, once a consolidation plan is put together. Just how many people will lose their jobs is uncertain. The Advertiser has 410 full-time and 190 part-time workers.

Q: How big are the two dailies and are they making money?

A: The Advertiser circulation is 130,136 on weekdays and 139,630 on Sundays as of March 29, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The Star-Bulletin circulation is not audited. Gannett Co. officials say The Advertiser is profitable; the Star-Bulletin has been losing money for the nine years it has been owned by Oahu Publications.

Q: If The Advertiser is profitable, why is Gannett selling it?

A: A Gannett official said Oahu Publishing made "a very substantial and attractive offer" for The Advertiser that Gannett accepted out of a "fiduciary responsibility" to shareholders.

Q: Will employees at the consolidated operation still be represented by unions?

A: An asset sale typically is used by companies that want to get out of existing union contracts. Wayne Cahill, spokesman for the Hawaii Newspaper and Printing Trades Council, said Advertiser employees will continue to have bargaining rights, but will not be under contract when the sale to Oahu Publishing is complete.

Q: What will happen to Midweek?

A: Oahu Publications will continue to operate Midweek, its military papers and commercial printing business.

Q: Where will the newspapers be located?

A: Oahu Publications has a lease at Waterfront Plaza until 2013, and if the Bulletin is sold, the buyer will take over the lease. The Advertiser will operate out of its building at 605 Kapi'olani Blvd., which was not included in the sale, at least until the deal is complete.