Tiser PM is DOA

Written by Burl on January 7th, 2005

Gannett announced today that the Advertiser’s afternoon edition of their paper will cease to exist within a week.
Created in the wake of the JOA separation from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the Gannett Advertiser’s PM edition was designed to honor already standing advertising contracts, maintain circulation levels, artificially boost ad rates, deny the new Star-Bulletin competition access to their former circulation workers and — frankly — give those daytime pressmen something to do. But when the Star-Bulletin didn’t knuckle under, the playing field changed. All of the above reasons are now moot points in maintaining an Advertiser PM edition. And they couldn’t get any subscribers willing to pay for it, either.
Notice that when the Gannett execs talk about the size of the afternoon edition, they talk about the number circulated, not the number of paid subscribers. Their notion of a subscriber is someone who doesn’t complain about a free paper.
It’s no surprise that the Gannett Advertiser’s PM edition was a doomed product. (We predicted it back in June, 2001!) Killing it is a logical move. As one union official pointed out, it’s about time Gannett made decisions that help the Advertiser instead of hurting the Star-Bulletin.
Most likely to be hurt in this closure are the ILWU circulation folks. The no-layoffs clause in the general Guild contracts at the Advertiser run through this year, I think.
Also, as expressed here some time ago, for the Gannett paper to “win,” they have to kill us. For the Star-Bulletin to win, we just have to stay alive.
It would be easy to say something like “Victory is in sight,” but we should probably worry when Gannett makes a decision based on sound business sense rather than ignorance and punitive meanness.


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