Advertiser biz news desk says goodbye; some move on to other Honolulu paper
The Honolulu Advertiser published its last paper on Sunday, meaning its seven-person business news desk is no more. The paper had cut its standalone business section at the beginning of 2009.
The Advertiser was bought earlier this year by its cross-town rival, the Star-Bulletin, which made plans to hire about two dozen of the Advertiser’s news staff. The rest were laid off when the paper ceased publishing.
The Advertiser business editor, David Butts, had also been acting as the local news editor since 2007. Butts, who once ran Bloomberg’s Tokyo bureau, will lead the business section of the new Star-Advertiser newspaper.
Also on the business desk was assistant business editor Alan Yonan Jr., who had been with the paper for six years. Before that, he was with Dow Jones Newswires in Singapore and Washington. Yonan oversaw the staff through bankruptcies of the state’s two largest airlines and primary telephone company, a sharp downturn in real estate market and soaring unemployment.
Yonan has been hired to work on the business desk of the Star-Advertiser. In Sunday’s paper, he wrote, “Some of us on the business staff, including myself, have been hired to work for the business section of the new Star-Advertiser, which will include reporters and editors from both the Star-Bulletin and The Advertiser. I’m sure the new combined staff will continue to put out a top-notch business section. But it won’t be the same without the competition that reporters from both sides thrived on over the years.”
Business reporter Andrew Gomes covered real estate and retail for the Advertiser. He also has a new job at the paper, but writes Sunday, “I will miss the many people I’ve worked with at a great paper. Most haven’t been retained for the merged operation of the two papers that begins tomorrow, and the loss is painful.”
Business Reporter Greg Wiles, who covered the economy and the health care beats, wrote in the final paper that, “Sadly, this is may also be the end of the road for me in journalism. There’s tons of schmaltz that all newspaper reporters reminisce about at times like these.” Wiles had worked for Bloomberg in its San Francisco bureau.
Business Columnist Robbie Dingeman, who covered small business, also said farewell in Sunday’s paper. She wrote, “And now there will be fewer voices. But we’re a stubborn, nosy and multi-talented lot, so you never know where we’ll turn up. Thank you for letting us into your lives. We’ll miss you.”
Sean Hao, who was most recently a city desk reporter but came out of the business section, was also picked up by the new paper. And business reporter Rick Daysog has a job lined up at the Sacramento Bee to cover clean energy.
Also, former Pacific Business News editor Jim Kelly had joined the Advertiser earlier this year to be editor of its editorial pages.