star_bulletin.jpgIn a filing with Hawaii’s Department of Labor, the owner of The Honolulu Star-Bulletin said the paper will be laying off half of its 300 employees as it pursues its takeover of the Honolulu Advertiser, the Advertiser reports. Oahu Publications said it would cut those 150 jobs whether or not the Bulletin is sold off or merged with the Advertiser.

Oahu Publications, owner of the Bulletin, is buying rival Honolulu Advertiser from Gannett. Gannett has already sent out layoff notices to all 600 Advertiser employees but it’s unclear how many of those employees would be rehired when the sale completes.

The Advertiser employees’ union contracts don’t transfer to the buyer, so they’re much less likely to be retained than people currently working at the Star-Bulletin.

“I think you are going to see a fairly tight paper and a newsroom staff that does not grow and may well shrink,” news industry analyst Ken Doctor told the Advertiser. “He’ll be as lean as he can be.”

Journalism professor Gerald Kato added that Oahu Publications owner David Black is skilled at running community papers, with small staffs and tight budgets.