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Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years

Fasi: Use public money
to aid Star-Bulletin buyout

By Peter Wagner


Former Mayor Frank Fasi said public money should be used to buy the Star-Bulletin to prevent a single-newspaper monopoly in Honolulu.

"I don't want to live in a community that has one voice that controls public opinion," he said.

The longtime Honolulu mayor, currently running to regain office, said at a news conference today that he would use government revenue bonds to make loan financing available to private parties interested in acquiring the Star-Bulletin. "I will use the full power and authority of my office to support the public financing of any competing group, including any and all Star-Bulletin and other news media professionals, to ensure the end of the news monopoly in Hawaii."

The Star-Bulletin was put up for sale April 21 when owner Liberty Newspapers L.P. agreed to a 65-day sales effort under federal court supervision. Liberty and the Gannett Co.-controlled Hawaii Newspaper Agency in September announced plans to cut short their 20-year joint operating agreement and close the Star-Bulletin with Gannett paying Liberty $26.5 million. The current sale effort put aside an antitrust lawsuit by the state against the two publishers' closure plan.

Newspaper broker Dirks Van Essen & Murray is due to meet tomorrow with U.S. Magistrate Barry Kurren to discuss results of a six-week effort to find a buyer. According to Philip Murray, lead broker, the federal magistrate will determine which of the respondents are qualified to buy and operate the 118-year-old daily newspaper. Those parties, he said, will then have access to financial information necessary to assess the property and make a bid.

Bulletin closing archive

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