Most of the 600 employees of the Honolulu Advertiser have received job offers with the management company that will run the paper until the new owner takes over later this month, the Advertiser reported.
HA Management’s offer letter to staffers included pay cuts for some employees and stipulated that all staffers would work “at will.”
Wayne Cahill, administrative officer of the Hawaii Newspaper Guild, told the Advertiser he’s advising employees not to sign anything including their job offers until after the union’s attorneys have had a chance to look them over.
The sale could close as soon as April 25, the future owner, David Black, told employees. In late February, Gannett announced it was selling the Advertiser to its chief rival, Oahu Publications, which owns competitor The Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
But before Oahu owner Black can take control of the Advertiser, it has to comply with federal antitrust laws by trying to sell off the Star-Bulletin; if a buyer isn’t found, Oahu will merge the two papers, resulting in layoffs at both, though a majority of the layoffs will come from the larger Advertiser.
Even if the sale of the Star-Bulletin goes through, Black will cut 150 jobs there, and the new owners will likely want to gut the unprofitable paper as well.