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The Honolulu Advertiser
The Honolulu Advertiser front page 16 October 2006.jpg
The October 16, 2006 front page of
The Honolulu Advertiser
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner Gannett Company
Publisher Lee Webber
Editor Mark Platte
Founded 1856 (as the Pacific Commercial Advertiser)
Headquarters 605 Kapiʻolani Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
 United States
Circulation 141,934 Morning
155,932 Sunday[1]
ISSN 1072-7191
Official website

The Honolulu Advertiser is the largest daily newspaper in the American state of Hawaiʻi. It publishes daily with special Sunday and Internet editions. Owned by Gannett Pacific Corporation since 1992, The Honolulu Advertiser is the parent publisher of Island Weekly, Navy News, Army Weekly, Ka Nupepa People, West Oahu People, Leeward People, East Oahu People, Windward People, Metro Honolulu People, and Honolulu People small, community-based newspapers for the public.


Henry M. Whitney

Businessman and son of Congregational missionaries, Henry M. Whitney founded the Pacific Commercial Advertiser in 1856, a weekly newspaper that was circulated primarily in the whaling port of Honolulu. The inaugural edition was published on July 2 of that year with this statement from Whitney:

Thank Heaven, the day at length has dawned when the Hawaiian nation can boast a free press, untrammeled by government patronage or party pledges, unbiased by ministerial frowns or favors.

The biggest story in the first edition was a report on the wedding of Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. However, the front page was devoted almost exclusively to advertisements. Throughout the paper, Whitney posted fifty-two advertisements for sailing ships in port at Honolulu Harbor with three hundred vessel timetables. In 1870, Whitney went broke and was forced to sell the Commercial Advertiser to James Black and William Auld, local printers. Whitney stayed on as the newspaper's editor.

Claus Spreckles

In 1880, Black and Auld sold the Pacific Commercial Advertiser to Claus Spreckles. Vehemently opposed to Spreckles' conservative and pro-monarchy political stance, Whitney, as a devout annexationist, resigned as editor. In his place, Wallace Rider Farrington, future Governor of the Territory of Hawaii, arrived from Maine to become the new editor. Spreckles' royalist slant in his editorial articles were deplored by most of the American businessmen residing in Hawaiʻi at the time. Revenue suffered as a result, forcing Spreckles to eventually sell the Pacific Commercial Advertiser.

Lorrin A. Thurston and Son

In 1888, Spreckles sold his newspaper to the Hawaiian Gazette Company. It in turn sold the newspaper in 1895 to Lorrin A. Thurston, a former cabinet minister in the administration of King Kalākaua. Thurston had been instrumental to the overthrow of the monarchy and the end of the existence of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Thurston was also the author of the "Bayonet Constitution" of 1887 which he forced King Kalakāua to sign, backed by an armed militia. The constitution stripped the monarchy of all authority, took away many rights of native Hawaiians to vote in elections, and granted voting rights to American residents, even those who did not have citizenship in the kingdom.

In 1921, Thurston changed the name of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser to The Honolulu Advertiser. The following year, Thurston hired Raymond S. Coll to be the newspaper editor. Coll served in that capacity until his retirement in 1959.

In 1931, Lorrin P. Thurston took over his father's position as editor and president of The Honolulu Advertiser. He would later become chairman of the Hawaii Statehood Commission. Upon Raymond Coll's retirement, Thurston hired George Chaplin, former editor of the military newspaper Pacific Stars and Stripes, as the editor of The Honolulu Advertiser. He would serve in this capacity for 28 years.

Thurston Twigg-Smith and George Chaplin

In 1961, Thurston Twigg-Smith continued family ownership as he inherited The Honolulu Advertiser from his uncle. He remained publisher and president until 1986. With the coupling of Chaplin and Twigg-Smith, The Honolulu Advertiser shifted its political slant from a staunchly conservative pro-Big Five newspaper to become a more moderate, racially progressive newspaper. Both were enormously influenced by the rising local Chinese American, Filipino American and Japanese American readership and worked to cater to these communities' news interests. In 1967, Twigg-Smith formed the Persis Corporation (known as Asa Hawaii Corporation until 1978) as the Advertiser's parent company.

Gannett Pacific Corporation

In 1992, The Honolulu Advertiser was purchased by the Gannett Pacific Corporation, a subsidiary of Gannett Company Incorporated. [2] It became the first morning edition publication in Ganett's corporate history. The company had already owned Honolulu's other major newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, since 1973. From 1962 to 2001, both dueling newspapers were administered under a joint operating agreement under which they shared printing and advertising operations but kept separate editorial staff and printing functions. The agreement ended when the Honolulu Star-Bulletin was sold to a separate company.

Advertiser Building

The Honolulu Advertiser staff occupies the Advertiser Building on 605 Kapiʻolani Boulevard in downtown Honolulu. Built in 1929 by the architectural firm Emory & Webb in the beaux arts style, the Advertiser Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From the 1930s through the 1950s the building's roof sported two radio towers with the transmitting antenna of AM radio station KGU strung between them.


  1. ^ "2007 Top 100 Daily Newspapers in the U.S. by Circulation" (PDF). BurrellesLuce. 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2007-05-31.  
  2. ^ Gannett Co., Inc.. "About Gannett: The Honolulu Advertiser". Retrieved 2006-10-16.  

External links



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