Star-Advertiser Exits


Retirements and staff cutbacks continue to plague the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, with no word on replacements to fill the dwindling ranks.

Notable sports columnist Ferd Lewis last week departed the sports department, after a four-decade stint. Sports editor Paul Arnett also has vacated his desk, with Curtis Murayama succeeding him.

Earlier, Gordon Pang retired as City Hall reporter, and columnist Lee Cataluna decided to bow out to join the Civil Beat, the online newspaper site.

The exit door continues to spin.

Another staff veteran, Betty Shimabukuro, has also retired as a veteran editor, features and food editor, cookbook author and Crave tabloid section honcho and contributor. She has stayed on during the pandemic last year, and finally is throwing in the towel.

Maureen McConnell, from the paper’s Opinion editorial section, has been reduced to part-time status.

After Frank Bridgewater retired last year as editor in chief of the Star-Advertiser, his desk remains vacant.

Some copy editors were slashed last year and not replaced. The cutbacks also meant employees were obligated to take a 20 per cent pay cut, reflected in a required two-week furlough.

Since the pandemic, the paper also has drastically reduced space (pages) and staff of the Features section, which has become a sandwich publication with a cut-back Travel section tucked behind the Sunday section during the Coronavirus pandemic. The stand-alone Features section is just a memory now.

And Play, the broadsheet that was the paper’s Thursday entertainment section, remains missing in action since being shelved last year.