Categorized | Business, Featured

Two daily newspapers sold to Oahu Publications

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

(Editor’s Note: Hawaii 24/7 Publisher Baron Sekiya and Editor Karin Stanton are former Stephens Media employees, having worked more than a decade each at West Hawaii Today.)

Hawaii 24/7 has confirmed the sale of the two island daily newspapers to Oahu Publications Inc.

The company announced in a press release on Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire the Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo) and West Hawaii Today (Kona) from Las Vegas-based Stephens Media LLC.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Oahu Publications president Dennis Francis said both newspapers will continue to be published daily and will be editorially independent from the company’s daily newspaper on Oahu, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The transaction will close Dec. 1.

“We are pleased to bring local management and ownership to these two quality newspapers,” Francis said in the statement issued to state and national media. “Our first priority will be to ensure that the two newspapers continue to serve the needs of their communities.”

He noted Oahu Publications purchased Kauai’s The Garden Island newspaper on Kauai last year.

“It was good for the newspaper, good for employees and good for the residents of Kauai,” he said. “We were able to bring back the Saturday edition, improve technology for the digital edition, and ensure the needs of the community would be served by a strong daily newspaper on Kauai for decades to come.”

As for the Hawaii Island papers, “We’re publishers and we are always interested in taking a look at an opportunity,” Francis said. “We are committed to ensuring that each island community retains a strong, local newspaper.”

Francis said that the two newspapers’ editorial and advertising sales functions will continue under existing staff, and that the papers will continue to be printed at West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald has a circulation of 16,000 Monday-Friday and 18,000 on Sunday. West Hawaii Today’s circulation is 10,000 Monday-Friday and 12,000 on Sunday.

As part of the deal, Oahu Publications is also buying Stephen’s interest in

“We want Hawaii Island residents and readers of both newspapers to know that Oahu Publications is committed to quality journalism and maintaining the excellent relationship that both papers have with their communities,” Francis said.

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