KHON employees to get retention bonus on top of Christmas bonus
FULL-TIME employees of television station KHON are one step closer to getting a one-time retention bonus of three months' pay, now that the station's sale has received federal approval.
The three-month chunk o' money is being called a success bonus, in anticipation of the $259 million sale of KHON and other stations owned by Indiana-based Emmis Communications Corp.
"In my 28-year career, this is the first time I've seen bonuses carved out for all the (full-time) employees. ... I've never seen it go this deep or this far," said Rick Blangiardi, senior vice president and general manager.
It is more common for only senior managers, who have bonus language built into their contracts, to receive such payouts.
All employees recently received a Christmas bonus of $200.
The retention bonus for an employee earning $40,000 would be about $10,000.
"When people in that category are going paycheck to paycheck, this is huge," said Blangiardi.
"I am very pleased for ... our employees, that they're going to be recognized this way for all of their hard work and commitment to improving our television stations," he said. Employees at KGMB also are to receive retention bonuses when Emmis finds a buyer for its other Honolulu station.
Emmis "is really to be commended because the impact this will have on the families and their lives is significant," he said.
The purchase, announced in September, is expected to close in mid-January, at which time Emmis will pay the bonuses, Blangiardi said.
You, oh reader, are not the only one given pause by wondering at the amount that will appear on the check for the station's top-rated anchor Joe Moore.
The Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 20 approved the broadcast license transfers of KHON, its Hawaii satellite stations and 15 other stations and satellites in four other states to SJL Acquisition LLC, a venture between SJL Broadcast Group of California and Blackstone Group, a New York-based private investment firm.
Still unclear is whether SJL will retain all 112 employees at KHON.
"Right now, I am working full-time for Emmis," Blangiardi said. "All my efforts are directed at making sure that this station operates successfully and the sale closes on time. After that, we'll begin having operational conversations with SJL."
It's fukubukuro time
Twenty-eight merchants at Ala Moana Center will participate in the Japanese New Year retailing tradition of fukubukuro on Jan. 1.
In Japanese, fukubukuro means a bag of good fortune, after the shopping bags retailers sell that contain deeply discounted merchandise.
"Each store puts something different -- special items -- in the bag and when you buy the fukubukuro bag you get (at least) 50 percent off," said Alyson Helwagen, publicist.
"I hear that Burberry's bag is usually really popular and there is typically a line at the door before the mall opens," she said.
The one-day event starts at 10 a.m., when the center opens. The quantity of bags is limited.
Fukubukuro are popular and available in nearly every store in Japan during the New Year holiday. A 1990 Wall Street Journal story said the tradition started with stores using the bags to unload unwanted merchandise, but that the bags' contents grew more lavish as Japan's economy improved.
Merchants are voluntarily taking part and include Animation Magic, Baccarat, Bally, Bobby Jones, Burberry, Celine, Claire's, Crabtree & Evelyn, D. Fiori, Diesel USA, Dior, Fendi, Folli Follie, Hawaiian Quilt Collection, Hilo Hattie, LeSportsac, Locals Only, Lupicia, Maui Divers Jewelry, Neiman Marcus, Origins, Pacific Harley-Davidson, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sandal Tree, Sephora, Sunglass Designs and the Compleat Kitchen.
You're seeing right, Shirokiya, retailer of Japanese merchandise, is not participating.
Ala Moana's customer service center can answer questions at 955-9517.
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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org