by Andrew Walden
As the official story goes, David Black, majority owner of the Star-Bulletin initiated negotiations for the purchase of the Advertiser on February 25, 2010.
But a whois search for StarAdvertiser.com shows that Black’s Oahu Publications reserved the domain name www.StarAdvertiser.com over one year earlier--on February 14, 2009.
The domain name was registered eight days after the Star-Bulletin converted from broadsheet to tabloid and six days after union workers at the Advertiser agreed to a 10% pay cut.
UPDATE: SA confirms: Purchase of Advertiser over one year in the making (see below)
The name implies that Black planned the takeover and foresaw the failure of the attempted sale of the Star-Bulletin. One year before going public, he intended to create a new newspaper from the two competitors.
Sen. Sam Slom, one of three bidders for the Star-Bulletin, in a June 4 Hawaii reporter article, documents the strategies used by Black Press to sabotage any offer for the Star-Bulletin’s assets.
Perhaps Black wanted to prevent someone from buying the Star-Bulletin for $10,000 as he had himself in 2001.
The Advertiser’s printing and distribution team is mostly intact in the new Star-Advertiser operation, but the reporters and editors are largely from the Star-Bulletin. As today’s Advertiser reports:
About 400 people will lose their jobs — most at The Advertiser, but also about 91 workers at the printing plant in Kanē'ohe that produces the Star-Bulletin and MidWeek….
The company will employ about 474 workers — including 265 hired from the Advertiser, among them 28 editors, reporters, columnists and a photographer — and will be produced at the plant built by The Advertiser in Kapolei in 2004.
Ian Rutka, an Advertiser advertising account executive, is quoted by the Advertiser:
"Basically, it's like the Los Angeles Clippers bought the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. became a one-team city. Only they're keeping the Clippers players and not the Lakers players."
RELATED: Advertiser Endorsement: More Case family media manipulation
RELATED: SA confirms: Purchase of Advertiser over one year in the making
"Black took about a year and a half to reach an agreement with Gannett. The Star-Bulletin was offered for sale in March to satisfy U.S. Justice Department antitrust requirements. Unions at both papers and some lawmakers questioned the sale, but Justice officials cleared the purchase and consolidation after three prospective buyers failed to meet a minimum price."
RELATED: Star-Advertiser editors launch new paper by begging government to buy them out
WHOIS for www.StarAdvertiser.com
Oahu Publications Inc.
500 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: STARADVERTISER.COM
Created on: 14-Feb-09
Expires on: 14-Feb-20
Last Updated on: 19-May-10