Sunday, January 13, 2002

Shakeups and movers

With some executives of the Honolulu Advertiser schmoozing with clients and other guests in the paper's 18th green Sky Box at the Sony Open on Friday, it was announced at the newspaper's offices that a vice president and handful of other management employees of the newspaper were "leaving the building."

President and Publisher Mike Fisch, who was not at the golf course, confirmed the company had eliminated six nonunion managerial and supervisory positions and offered early retirement buyouts to some as part of a "restructuring of the marketing development department." The change is effective tomorrow.

"There were no layoffs," he said. "We eliminated several positions and there are other things we need to do."

Affected employees, including 30-year company veteran and Vice President Jim George, were told during the week with an announcement made to the staff on Friday. The employees were offered transition packages and "other assistance such as medical (insurance) for an extended period," Fisch said.

"It's not easy," he said. "They're all good people. Unfortunately there are changing needs in a business and resources are not unlimited. We had to make difficult choices and I hope that each of the individuals who have been involved in this will be successful in finding other things."

The Advertiser has recently added to its advertising staff and entered into a joint online venture with Donrey Media, creators of Web portal

"Our priority is going to be revenue generation and new media development," Fisch said. However, he would not comment on the company's hiring of former Ala Moana Center Advertising and Marketing Director Dexter Suzuki.

Contacted earlier, Suzuki confirmed he would start his new job as director of new media for the Advertiser and on Tuesday.

So far he knows the job entails online development and strategic planning involving areas from design to marketing. "I think it's more looking at the whole gamut of what the Web can do as a new media vehicle for Hawaii," he said.

He told TheBuzz in November that at year's end he would leave his position as advertising and marketing director at Ala Moana Center and that with one 5-year-old son and another son on the way, he had no new job waiting for him in the new year. Suzuki ended last year by greeting a brand new son, Branson Keo.

Branson's "Uncle," Robin Yamane, meanwhile, will serve his last at Ala Moana Center Thursday.

He had been the center's promotions director for nearly three years, joining because of "the opportunity to work with Dexter Suzuki," he said. Prior to the Ala Moana job, he owned and operated his own florist business, Alakai Floral Creations, which was sold last year. The center is interviewing for replacements, he said.

Yamane starts a new job Jan. 22 as an account manager for Cox Radio Hawaii's KINE.

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

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