CURRENT EVENTS
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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
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JAN 2001
FEB 2001
MAR 2001
APR 2001
MAY 2001
JUN 2001
JUL 2001
AUG 2001
SEP 2001
OCT 2001
NOV 2001
DEC 2001
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JAN 2002
FEB 2002
MAR 2002
APR 2002
MAY 2002
JUN 2002
JUL 2002
AUG 2002
SEP 2002
OCT 2002
NOV 2002
DEC 2002
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JAN 2003
FEB 2003
MAR 2003
APR 2003
MAY 2003
JUN 2003
JUL 2003
AUG 2003
SEP 2003
OCT 2003
NOV 2003
DEC 2003
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Prelude to NewsWar


Thurston
Twigg-Smith
Newspaper ex-mogul
(Click me!)
1993 After years of mismanagement of his other newspaper holdings, Honolulu Advertiser owner Thurston Twigg-Smith abruptly sold the family trust to competitor Gannett, owners of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and with whom the Advertiser had entered into a joint operating agreement to consolidate printing, distribution and ad-sales functions. This came as a surprise announcement by Gannett executives John Curley and Douglas McCorkindale in the Star-Bulletin newsroom, who then raced out the door and peeled off their shirts and put on Advertiser aloha shirts to repeat the announcement to the now-frightened staff at the other newspaper.

For weeks, the Star-Bulletin's fate was in limbo while Gannett "searched" for a buyer. Gannett rebuffs an employee buyout, and eventually produces mystery Florida "newspaper broker" Rupert Phillips as the newspaper's owner. No details of the purchase were ever produced in public, but Phillips and Gannett executives promised employees and the public that the JOA agreement will stand for the next 20 years. Phillips even urged staff members to take out second mortgages and car loans to bolster public confidence in the product, while McCorkindale claimed Star-Bulletin staffers had the best job security of any newspaper in the country. The newspapers switched hands on the same day Bush Justice Department lawyers vacated their offices for Clinton appointees, and Justice never got around to examining the JOA contract between the two newspapers and the government.

Phillips went back to the mainland and was rarely heard from. Out from under Gannett, over the next six years, the Star-Bulletin won numerous journalism awards while the Advertiser hemorrhaged an experienced staff under a succession of Gannett editors. Citizen ridicule of Advertiser news-judgment peaked when clueless Gannett editors sat on the now-famous "Broken Trust" essay by critics of powerful Bishop Estate, a document that, when made public by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, set into motion the biggest news story in Hawaii in the last quarter-century.

Into this charged and competitive atmosphere, Gannett bean-counters smelled more beans over the horizon.

If only they could poison the other guy's well and not get caught ...

Now go with us into the scary days of 1999


John J. Curley
Former Gannett CEO
(Click me!)


Doug
McCorkindale
Gannett CEO
(Click me!)

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