Hawaii Newspaper Forced to Make Cuts

Newsroom will shrink by 13.6%.

Heading into October, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hawaii’s largest newspaper, faces a mandate familiar to many of its U.S. mainland counterparts. Trim the editorial staff because of a downturn in advertising revenues.

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Per a report by Honolulu Civil Beat’s Rui Kaneya, the newspaper’s parent company Oahu Publications, a division of Canada’s Black Press Group Ltd., is aiming to cut 15 newsroom positions by Oct. 17. From Kaneya’s piece:

Dennis Francis, Oahu Publications president and publisher, told Civil Beat that the job cuts will affect all six categories of employees — reporters, copy editors, photographers, artists/graphics, online production and clerks — who are represented by the Pacific Media Workers Guild.

According to Sjarif Goldstein, a sports editor who serves as the union’s unit chair, five reporters and six copy editors are among those set to lose their jobs. The other four categories will each see one position eliminated.

Goldstein added that employees can also choose to volunteer for a buyout and receive a severance package of one week’s pay for each year worked, up to a maximum of 40. Oahu Publications, which also owns MidWeek, Kauai’s The Garden Island, West Hawaii Today and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, recently laid off eight non-union employees at these other publications, including Midweek editor Don Chapman. It also decided to leave 20 current vacant positions unfilled through the rest of 2016. Once the Star-Advertiser layoffs are complete, the newsroom staff will be down to 95 from the current total of 110 editorial employees.

Image courtesy: newseum.org