Rick Daysog of the Advertiser writes:
"It's hard to close this chapter and begin a new one," Robert Dickey, president of Gannett U.S. Community Publishing, wrote in an e-mail to Advertiser employees Friday. "But in doing so, I want to sincerely thank you for your dedication to The Honolulu Advertiser and wish you all the best."
Gannett's exodus and the eventual merger of The Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin will leave Honolulu as a one-newspaper town and result in the loss of at least 300 jobs.
For the next estimated 30 to 60 days, The Advertiser will publish as a stand-alone newspaper run by third-party HA Management Inc.
The two dailies will be merged into a single broadsheet newspaper known as The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which will have a combined daily circulation of 135,000 to 140,000, Dennis Francis, the Star-Bulletin's publisher told Daysog. The Star-Advertiser will employ between 300 and 600 people. The two newspapers currently have 900 employees between them.
"I know there's a lot of angst in the community about losing a newspaper but the community decided long ago that it could not support two newspapers," Francis told Daysog. "That decision was made by readers and advertisers."
Daysog also writes:
Former media executives say the loss of an editorial voice will have a long-lasting impact on the local community.
The layoff of scores of journalists will mean that hundreds of stories will go unwritten each year, they said.
"It's a real tragedy," said Gerry Keir, who worked at The Advertiser for 27 years, rising to editor before leaving in 1995. "I don't think there's any question that the community is the loser."