Honolulu company aio looks to spread wings across Pacific
THE AIO GROUP
has restructured to facilitate expansion across the Pacific ocean. The Honolulu-based holding company that is into print and online publishing, sports, broadcasting and bread-baking, has formed a new company, TransOceanic Media.
The new company entails Pacific Magazine, its subsidiary publications and online products; the weekly Downtown Planet newspaper; and the "Hawaii Buyer's Guide," an annual guide of industrial products. It is overseen by Floyd Takeuchi, president and chief operating officer. He formerly headed aio Media, the holding company's print media group.
"It has always been our intention to develop a solid foundation in Hawaii from which to launch major media initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region," aio founder Duane Kurisu said in a statement. Kurisu is a minority investor in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Kurisu credited Takeuchi with playing a leading role in developing the company's portfolio of "respected, Hawaii-focused publications," including magazines such as "Hawaii Business," "Honolulu" and "Hawaii Home + Remodeling."
Takeuchi will now focus on possible acquisitions and new media ventures in the Asia-Pacific region, Kurisu said.
That's right. Takeuchi gets to go shopping for a living.
The observation got a laugh, but it's not like he'll be out there looking for the latest Manolo Blahniks. (For those who don't watch "Sex and the City," these are really expensive women's shoes.)
"We're looking at all media opportunities," Takeuchi said.
However, rather than establishing the "Pohnpei Planet" or "Chuuk Weekly," the company is looking at creating or buying niche media products in "significantly larger markets," such as Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, among others, Takeuchi said.
The Pacific Magazine Web site "we think is the most heavily used for Pacific Islands news and information." The heaviest traffic is from the United States, but Australia "is a large second," European Union countries combine for the third-largest user group, followed by New Zealand. The site will be revamped late this summer, enabling the company to generate more revenue.
Most of aio's other Hawaii-focused companies have been placed under the oversight of Susan Eichor, president and chief operating officer of aio Hawaii. Her kuleana includes PacificBasin Communications; sports radio station KKEA-AM 1420, now rebranded as ESPN 1420; Watermark Publishing; B. Hayman Co., a distributor of turf maintenance equipment and golf carts; Hawaii's Best Events; Web portal IamHawaii.com; and BluePrint Media.
The sports radio station has recently been rebranded "ESPN 1420," since most of its programming is generated by the network. However, Eichor says there is as much local programming as before. "We really listen to our listeners and have tried to focus the programs on those areas our listeners want," she said. Acknowledging that it is impossible to make everyone happy, she said, "we have gotten really good feedback from the changes that we've made."
Morning and afternoon drive-time shows by Bobby Curran and a trio named the Sports Animals are station-run shows, as is 1420 Golf on Saturday mornings. Other local programs pay for the air time, however, such as Greater Good Radio and Thrive Live. The number of paid programs on the station vary depending on the time of year, she said.
Eichor noted that listeners will hear increasing features about local athletes during national ESPN programming.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, 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: email@example.com