Honolulu Newspaper War

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Newspaper War Flashback

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Purely for historical-preservation purposes, notice two new data “pages” on this blog; a copy of the 1993 Joint Operating Agreement between the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, plus Randall Roth’s potstirrer expose of the way the Advertiser mishandled the classic “Broken Trust” essay — a title, BTW, created by my wife, who copyedited the original.

This is the first step in transferring the contents of the notorious Honolulu Newspaper War blog to this site.

The Final Countdown

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

I’ve decided to revive this shuttered Honolulu Newspaper War website, which was closed down at the end of 2003. Events for May 2010 are listed below.

I’m too much of an inveterate historian to allow this extraordinary time to pass by without documentation, but this time out, I’ll largely stick to data collection instead of cheerleading, thank you.

In 2003, there seemed no point in continuing the site, which had begun as a tiny yapping dog worrying the heels of big, bad Gannett. But by the end of that year, the war had settled into stalemate and the Star-Bulletin had “won” by surviving. The period from then until now has been marked by newspaper closures throughout the nation, largely because of fiscal irregularities by parent corporations. That hasn’t been the case in the Star-Bulletin, whose owner David Black is smart and patient, but we still feel the ripples caused by larger ships going under. But Black was supporting the Star-Bulletin even when it was losing money. That couldn’t continue.

Over this period, we’ve also grown to genuinely like and respect David Black, who never fails to know us by name and has some idea of our work, unlike owners we’ve had in the past. We all grieved when his wife Annabeth died. I recall her scouring the shops of Honolulu, hunting up used office furniture so we’d have desks and chairs, bless her.

In counterpoint, I offer Gannett executive John Jaske, who once skipped out on a meeting with Honolulu Newspaper Guild members because it was foxhunting season in Virginia.