The merged Honolulu Star-Advertiser debuts June 7, with nearly 400 people losing their jobs in the process, according to the publisher of the combined newspaper.
The last day that both The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin will publish separately will be Sunday, June 6, said Dennis Francis, publisher of the Star-Bulletin who will also serve as publisher of the new newspaper.
The Star-Bulletin purchased The Advertiser from the Gannett Co. and Francis said he expects to hire about half of the Advertiser's 580 employees, meaning about 290 Advertiser workers will lose their jobs in the merger.
"We're hiring enough to get the job that the community expects us to deliver," Francis said.
He said it?s too early to tell how many jobs will be saved in each of the Advertiser?s divisions, including the newsroom, sales and distribution. "It's still predominantly more our employees than theirs. And I think a lot better ratio than people were guessing, so I think they'll be a lot of folks that will be pleasantly surprised."
Francis said about one third of the Star-Bulletin's 300 employees will also be laid off in the transition. Those 100 layoffs will come mostly from the Star-Bulletin's printing and distribution operation, Francis said. The Bulletin?s printing employees work on antiquated press machines in Kaneohe that he expects will be closed down. He said they can apply for other distribution jobs at the new paper.
?There are going to be layoffs, and we said that from the beginning. You don?t combine two newspapers and not have that. But on the other hand, we?re employing a lot of people. And we plan on being healthy and viable for a long, long, long, long time,? Francis said.
Asked about the fate of well-known Advertiser columnists like Lee Cataluna, Ferd Lewis, Dave Shapiro and Stephen Tsai, Francis said, ?Clearly we understand that there are popular columnists that are in The Advertiser. We know that and will certainly be giving everyone due consideration.? He said it was too early to say who?s going to be retained since interviews only began the day before.
The Star-Advertiser's masthead will feature a blue star from the old Star-Bulletin logo at its center. The new paper will be printed in the broadsheet style of the Advertiser, nixing the Star-Bulletin's tabloid format.
"We're gonna have a completely new redesigned look, new features, looking into blending the best of both newspapers," he said.