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Ian Lind • Now online daily from Old Kahala

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Wednesday…Hawaii Publishers announce their rewards, Black Press financial results, Mesa stock gets boost from Aloha’s demise, and a bit of Mr. Duke

April 2nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

The Star-Bulletin makes pretty, the Advertiser makes news. That’s a quick summary of yesterday’s results from this year’s Hawaii Publishers Association Pa’i Awards, in which the S-B dominated in the design and illustration categories, while the ‘Tizer landed a load of awards for news.

A special congratulations to the Advertiser’s Rob Perez, who won the top spot for investigative reporting by beating himself, twice. His stories ranked 1-2-3 in the category. The fact that there’s precious little investigative reporting going on in town had something to do with this, of course, but Rob and his editors obviously deserve a lot of credit.

Once again, the Star-Bulletin lists all the winners, including those from other publications, while the Advertiser mentions the number of S-B awards but cites only its own winning stories.

Speaking of the S-B, Torstar Corporation, publisher of the Toronto Star and a minority owner of David Black’s Black Press, which owns the Star-Bulletin, recently reported its financial results for the October-December quarter and the full 2007 year.

There’s a brief paragraph about Black Press:

Torstar’s income from Black Press was $0.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with $0.8 million in 2006. Black Press benefited in the quarter from the strong economy in Western Canada but was negatively impacted by non-cash mark-to-market losses on foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives.


Torstar’s income from Black Press was $3.1 million in 2007 compared with $1.8 million in 2006. Black Press realized EBITDA growth in 2007 from the strong economy in Western Canada and from U.S. acquisitions made in mid 2006. Black Press’ net income was negatively impacted during 2007 by higher interest expense related to the acquisitions.

Torstar owns just about 20% of Black’s operation, so it appears that Black Press earned something around $12.5 million in 2007 on its total revenues of something more than $500 million.

It would appear that Black’s newspapers and their employees are lucky, since we know that publicly traded companies would have a hard time explaining such returns to their Wall Street investors. Black, as a private owner, can afford to take a much longer view.

The Senate again deferred making a decision on HB 2557, the so-called reporters’ shield law. The decision was rolled over until tomorrow morning to give more time to come up with a compromise version.

Here’s a little Aloha Airlines video clip worth watching from the Aircrew Buzz blog.

But not everything being written about the demise of Aloha’s passenger service is glowing. I noted a blog entry yesterday which points to poor management as the main culprit.

Broken business models, inferior customer service, and management which does little to nothing about both of those things is what causes businesses to fail. Tough competition and rising costs may accelerate your demise, but you can’t blame those two things for everything.

Meanwhile, one financial analyst raised his rating on Go Airline owner Mesa Air from “sell” to “hold”. While describing the company’s prospects as poor, S&P Equity Research says the end of Aloha still is expected to give Mesa a boost.

Hairball in progress

What is that?!

It’s a large ball of hair from one session brushing Mr. Duke. He’s just a fur factory.  No wonder he has such trouble with hairballs. Imagine having to lick this off with your tongue.  Too bad we don’t have a way to clean and weave this stuff into something  useful. Where’s my entrepreneurial spirit?

Tags: General

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Green Bay Ray // Apr 2, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Entrepreneurial? I think that’s where the other cats are coming from – the hairballs gradually merge into a life form and bingo, you’ve got a new cat on your doorstep.

    By the way, thanks for the nice reprint (repost?) of the photo of Trip.

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