CURRENT EVENTS
--
ANCIENT HISTORY
1999
JAN 2000
FEB 2000
MAR 2000
APR 2000
MAY 2000
JUN 2000
JUL 2000
AUG 2000
SEP 2000
OCT 2000
NOV 2000
DEC 2000
--
JAN 2001
FEB 2001
MAR 2001
APR 2001
MAY 2001
JUN 2001
JUL 2001
AUG 2001
SEP 2001
OCT 2001
NOV 2001
DEC 2001
--
JAN 2002
FEB 2002
MAR 2002
APR 2002
MAY 2002
JUN 2002
JUL 2002
AUG 2002
SEP 2002
OCT 2002
NOV 2002
DEC 2002
--
JAN 2003
FEB 2003
MAR 2003
APR 2003
MAY 2003
JUN 2003
JUL 2003
AUG 2003
SEP 2003
OCT 2003
NOV 2003
DEC 2003
--
 
 
HonoluluNewsBlues
April 2002

The Year of
Sustained Casualties
Here Comes the Cavalry!

Dispatches from the Front by Burl Burlingame


4/1/02 Beating up on the little guys

Aaron Kilbey, the local fellow who runs the tropicalstormhawaii.com website has some sort of beef ongoing with the Gannett Advertiser. On his site, he notes, among other things, that, "beyond all belief, the Honolulu Advertiser has BLACKMAILED one of the Hawaiian e-commerce companies, issuing an ULTIMATUM that if they don't have their links removed from my site, then they can no longer be an affiliate of the Honolulu Advertiser, all because of my refusal to drop the matter of news-item links on my webpage ... (the) Honolulu Advertiser has determined that educating individuals who visit this site on current events is a copyright infringement and cannot be served."


4/2/02 Big Brother is listening

We're told that the telephones in the library at the Gannett Advertiser, where the Star-Bulletin archives are held, are being monitored by Gannett to make sure library employees don't provide any archive information to the Star-Bulletin.


4/5/02 Filling empty desks

I neglected to mention in the Lorna Lim item below that the Chicago Tribune is filling slots because they laid too many employess off in the Great Media Panic of '01. Trib publisher Scott Smith refused to call them "layoffs." They were called "involuntary employee separations."


4/13/02 Buy none, get gear free

Arriving uninvited in folks' email boxes is spam from the Gannett Advertiser, promoting their giveaway program, offerng a chance "to win free stuff EVERY DAY! Introducing The Honolulu Advertiser Prize Box. Every day we fill the Prize Box with exciting prizes such as gym memberships, rental cars, seat covers, meals and even Honolulu Advertiser gear..." What's funny is that the pitch is also being made to Star-Bulletin staff on office email.


4/14/02 Making more with less

Wall Street mooks have apparently been predicting that Gannett would report First Quarter 2002 earnings at 91 cents a share, and that's exactly what Gannett is claiming. Profitss for the company rose 8% to $243.6 million, even though newspaper ad revenues were down 5% and circulation revenues slipped 0.7%.
Will the universe's largest newspaper company be gobbling up more papers? "We're ready to write checks for the right transactions!" Gannett CEO Doug McCorkindale enthused.
According rnr.com, McCorkindale said he was comfortable with analysts' estimates that Gannett will have second-quarter earnings per share of $1.11 to $1.12, but Gannett later issued a statement that he misspoke and really meant $1.11 to $1.13.
I'm glad that's cleared up. In the meantime, the Star-Bulletin is forming a softball team.


4/15/02 Anchors away

The Navy has decided to stick to its original decision to switch its Navy News printing contract to the Gannett Advertiser. No one should be surprised by this. If they had reversed their decision, that woiuld have been a tacit admission that the process had been tainted, and besides, the Navy is required to award such contracts to the lowest bidder. On the Mainland, Gannett's deep pockets has allowed them to take work away from competitors by bidding at a loss, and by giving away cash "office upgrade bonusses" to the staffs of their accounts. Sigh. Positive spin -- the Honolulu Newspaper War is saving taxpayers money!




Duane Kurisu
Bulletin Buddy

4/17/02 The Local Kine Connection

Heavyweight local investors have joined the Star-Bulletin and MidWeek, announced during an early-morning staff meeting on this day. They include Hawaii businessmen Warren Luke, CEO of Hawaii National Bank; Lionel Tokioka of CB Bancshares and City Bank; Colbert Matsumoto and Franklin Tokioka of Island Holdings; attorneys Lynn and Jeff Watanabe; and Duane Kurisu, owner of Hawaii Sports Network, commercial real-estate company Kurisu & Fergus, Hawaii Winter Baseball, PacificBasin Communications LLC, and a partial owner of the San Francisco Giants.
They will become directors of a minority stake in Oahu Publications and MidWeek Printing. There will be more coverage at starbulletin.com.
This level of Hawaii public trust in the future of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin should make the Gannett Advertiser sit up and take notice. No other daily newspaper in Hawaii has attracted Hawaiian investors.
Disclosure time: My favorite Hawaii Winter Baseball team was the Hilo Stars, while the rest of the family preferred the Honolulu Sharks. I've still got my Stars cap!


4/18/02 It was an old day yesterday, a new day now ....

It seems this site was first out of the box with news of the Hawaii businessmen who have decided to invest in the Star-Bulletin's future, but only by a few minutes. Such is the gimme-gimme nature of the Internet news life. The most complete story is the Star-Bulletin's, natrurally, but the Gannett Advertiser was so desperate to let people know about this slap in their face that they rushed it online even before the news conference began.
The mood at our office is more upbeat now that Hawaii businesses are voting with their dollars on our future. Our staff has continued to produce (and sell and distribute) a high-quality news product under the most frightening circumstances, and the credit goes to those who hung in there.
The most often-heard comment yesterday was "I wish I was a fly on the wall at the Advertiser" as Gannett tries to absorb this setback, but it's possible that they simply won't understand what a body blow this is, public relations-wise. It's not about the money. It's about being part of the community.
I hope that -- at least -- their ad-sales staff stops referring to us as "foreigners."


4/19/02 "Gannett's stupidity is clearly our gain."

Here's the text of an internal memo at the Seattle Times from assistant managing editor David Boardman:
"I'm pleased to announce the newest addition to our news staff: Cheryl Phillips, formerly of USA Today, the Detroit News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Most recently, Cheryl (pronounced with a hard "CH") was in the news as one of the notorious "Blue Ball Three," the women fired for touching a piece of glass art at Gannett headquarters. Before that, though, she was well-known among investigative types as a crack computer-assisted-reporting specialist. Gannett's stupidity is clearly our gain. Cheryl will be part of the Investigative Team and will report to Jim Neff, but for the rest of this year she'll be working with John Saul's Traffic and Transportation Team and with the Tax and Spending project under Michele Matassa Flores' direction. In addition to her CAR skills, Cheryl has good experience as both a reporter and editor. We look forward to great things from her. Frank, hide your art. "


4/20/02 Stunned or muted?

Reaction at the Gannett Advertiser to our new local investors, I'm told, was stunned astonishment. They took it seriously. It will color their future in Hawaii, and cause Gannett to take a good, hard look at their stake here. As for our investors -- I'm told from other sources -- they're rather proud of themselves, and they should be.




John Morton
Media analyst
(Click me!)

4/22/02 Mr. Morton says

Ian had a blind item that mentioned newspaper analyst John Morton frequently being quoted by the Gannett Advertiser, predicting that the Star-Bulletin will fail. I looked Morton up and discovered that he didn't have much nice to say about Gannett in their newspaper war in Arkansas:
"Gannett didn't have a sense of the Arkansas market. They were used to having a monopoly. They changed the paper dramatically in ways that offended their readership base. They changed management in Little Rock frequently. And they didn't realize (the competition) was fully in the fight to stay..."
Sound familiar? Gannett lost more that $108 million in Little Rock before bugging out and killing their own product. The Gannett Advertiser may lose more.




Real Zero

4/23/02 A big fat Zero

The Star-Bulletin once again did well in the annual Hawaii Publishers Association Pa'i Awards, winning as many the Gannett Advertiser -- which has twice the staff and unlimited resources -- which causes Ian to rather cattily (ha ha!) note that "Amazingly, the Star-Bulletin apparently held its own, at least matching the Advertiser's performance." But even so, I shake my head at one award, a nod to the Tiser for news or informational graphic for Pearl Harbor coverage. Here's an example: At top is a real A6M2 "Zero," next is the Star-Bulletin's graphic of the Zero, and last is the award-winning Advertiser version. What were these judges smoking?



Star-Bulletin Zero


Advertiser Zero


4/25/02 Department of Corrections

The following amusing correction appeared in the Gannett Advertiser this day:
A Local News story posted yesterday about the Hawai'i Publishers Association awards omitted the following: The Honolulu Star-Bulletin received 16 awards. Honolulu Magazine received seven awards, Hana Hou and Network Media received five awards each and The Maui News received four. Honolulu Weekly and Maui No Ka Oi magazine received three awards each. Receiving two awards were West Hawaii Today, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Spirit of Aloha, North Hawaii News, Island Scene and Wailea magazine. Hawaii Hospitality, Agriculture, Hawaii Business, Ohana, Trade Publishing, Architecture, Pleasant Hawaii, Taste of Lahaina, Obun, Maui Time and Building Industry each received one award.


4/26/02 More Black

MidWeek has an interview with Black in this week's issue. They didn't put it o-line, alas. In it, he refers to our competition as "bleeding money and forever besmirching whatever reputation they had for honesty" because of the way Gannett played local peopole for chumps.


4/27/02 Advertisers react

According to our ad-sale reps, sales are way up since the announcement of local ownership of the Star-Bulletin.


4/28/02 A Wall of Spam!

Hundreds of cans of Spam were donated by Star-Bulletin and MidWeek employees in the latest Food Bank drive. Here's some of the Spam.




Saundra Keyes
Gannett editor

(Click me!)

4/29/02 It's managers who create unions

MidWeek's press employees voted Friday to be represented by the Graphic Communications International Union, Local 501M, which was probably inevitable. Meanwhile, over at the Gannett Advertiser, editor Saundra Keyes is keeping busy with the sort of behavior that creates unions in the first place (and makes her a ringbearer for the Dark Lord. No kidding!). She spends her days poring over cell-phone statements and cross-checking numbers to make sure employees don't make or receive personal calls during work hours. No, this information did not arrive via a cell-phone call.


4/30/02 A toehold deep in the dark bowels of power

The Capital Bureau reports a small victory in the great war worth mentioning. After countless years, Dave's Snack Shop at the State Capitol switched from using an Advertiser newspaper rack to the Star-Bulletin rack, "giving us prime placement over Brand X," reports Pat Omandam. "Its noteworthy because, as you know, change comes very slow in this building."

NEXT! May 2002
Damned Lies



These pages are always under construction. Links to other sites do not necessarily represent endorsement by Pacific Electric Monograph.
These pages look best when viewed on my computer over at my house.
© 2002 Pacific Monograph