— ADVERTISEMENT —
Oahu Publications Inc., parent company of MidWeek, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and military publications, announced the planned launch in December. Midweek -- The Weekend will focus on weekend activities such as entertainment, dining, shopping and home improvement, and will have an events calendar.
"It will have a pull-out auto section and we'll be focusing on more of the retailers who break sales during the weekend, vs. the earlier MidWeek, which is more grocery-intense and food-related," said Dennis Francis, Oahu Publications president.
The original MidWeek had "grown and changed to a point where we couldn't get any bigger," said Don Chapman, editor of MidWeek since 1994. "We had a couple 96-pagers at the end of the year."
The new MidWeek is prepared primarily by existing staff with a host of new columnists, both local and syndicated.
"One of the things I'm most pleased about ... is that we will have the first newspaper surf columnist, Gary Kewley, of Surf News Network. He's going to be doing a weekly surfing column for us," Chapman said. It will be part of the new weekly paper's sports and fitness sections, which also will have a column called "Curran Events" by KKEA-AM 1420 radio host Bobby Curran.
"Kimo's Las Vegas," a column about Hawaii-connected people and happenings in the Nevada desert, will be a first as well. The column by Hawaii broadcast executive Kimo Akane also may disprove the advertising that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Joji Yoshida, a local film-and-television industry insider, will write about his business; and Jo McGarry, who writes a column for MidWeek and "Food for Thought" in the Star-Bulletin Weekend section on Fridays, will write restaurant reviews and a chef-of-the-week profile.
MidWeek -- The Weekend will include fresh Focus on Oahu and Honolulu Paina photo pages familiar to original MidWeek readers.
MidWeek Publisher Ron Nagasawa said the goal of the "Wheels" automotive section is to make it "the place to go to for anything having to do with automobiles."
"We're also trying to expand the career section for job seekers going into the weekend. Real estate is something we're targeting. It makes a lot of sense, if you want to plan out an open-house schedule," Nagasawa said.
Both the original MidWeek and MidWeek -- The Weekend will have a range of advertisers.
It is not unusual for places, even small markets, to have a free twice- or thrice-weekly paper, according to Maryland-based media consultant and newspaper analyst John Morton.
However, he wondered aloud whether the new MidWeek would bleed revenue from its sister publications.
When asked if any revenue had been lost to the new publication, Francis said, "Almost none.
"It's such a different product, it tremendously enhances the reach of the advertising message. We're just real excited to see this product come to fruition and be able to deliver ever-better and more results to our advertisers."
At one time, advertising was a source of sibling rivalry between MidWeek and the Star-Bulletin, Nagasawa said, "but as publisher of MidWeek I see it really as more of a definite partnership. Both publications strengthen each other, especially with regard to advertising, because combined our readership can't be touched, and our reach -- you know, the different demos -- can't be touched." Advertisers want to appeal to different demographics, or groups of people based on gender and age.
"Everyone loves MidWeek," said Carol Ai May, vice president of City Mill Home Improvement Centers, a regular advertiser in MidWeek and the Star-Bulletin.
"MidWeek reaches everyone and I think that it has become a better and better product over the years."
Beth Busch, vice president of Success Advertising, will write a column for the new MidWeek, "about the local world of work," she said. Success Advertising places career advertising for corporate clients and stages job fairs in Honolulu.
Job seekers who are unemployed or who have jobs and want an upgrade, called "passive job seekers," will benefit from the pre-weekend distribution, Busch said.
"The passive candidate usually is working from Monday through Friday and is doing their searching on the weekend. If they can get a jump on the Sunday paper, that's even better."