Gannett Co. (GCI) has announced it’s selling the Honolulu Advertiser to its chief rival, Oahu Publications, which owns the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
The deal will close in the second quarter of 2010.
It doesn’t sound as if the papers will be merged, at least not immediately, but it’s unlikely that Oahu Publications will continue to pour resources into two competing products. In fact, John Temple, who saw his newspaper the Rocky Mountain News go under almost exactly one year ago today, calls the news a “death knell” for the Advertiser.
We don’t know yet whether the staffs will be merged or whether there will be layoffs.
Update: According to Editor & Publisher, there will definitely be layoffs if and when the papers merge.
Oahu Publications’ parent company is Black Press, which acquired the Akron Beacon Journal in 2006 and promptly laid off a quarter of the staff.
Source: The Star-Bulletin