Business

Sound closes two Pierce papers

"Sound Publishing, the Central Kitsap Reporter's parent company, last week announced plans to cease publication of two of its Pierce County newspapers.Meanwhile, Sound's parent company, Black Press Ltd., recently announced an agreement to purchase the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii's oldest daily newspaper.The Lakewood Journal and University Place Journal, which serve communities south of Tacoma, will cease publication Nov. 29. The two weekly papers have been published in Pierce County since 1990 and 1995, respectively.The Journals have struggled to gain readership and advertiser support during the past several years and Sound Publishing has opted for closure so the company can concentrate on other projects, according to Sound President Manfred Tempelmayr.The two papers have a staff of 22, most of whom will be given the opportunity to continue employment at one of the company's 14 other Western Washington publications. The decision to close the Journals was a difficult one for the company, said Tempelmayr, who recently joined Sound Publishing as president and has been with Black Press Ltd. since 1978. Sound has experienced rapid growth in all of our publishing communities and we are enjoying our best year since the company's inception in 1987. Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful in our efforts to make the Journals viable.The closure of the Pierce County papers is in no way expected to impact Sound Publishing's Kitsap Newspaper Group, which is composed of the Reporter, the Bremerton Patriot, the Port Orchard Independent, the North Kitsap Herald and the Bainbridge Review. The KNG also publishes the Northwest Navigator, a contract paper for the Navy.Sound's parent company, Black Press, is expected to formally assume ownership of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin by March 15.David H. Black, president of Black Press, announced the agreement with Liberty Newspapers Limited Partnership and the Gannet Co. Nov. 9. Black Press will purchase the 118-year-old afternoon daily for an undisclosed figure, pending an agreement with the Hawaii Newspaper Guild union and finding a source for newsprint by Thursday, Nov. 30.Until the March 15 change-over, the 63,000-circulation daily will continue to operate under an existing joint operating agreement. Under the JOA, all non-news functions (such as printing, advertising and distribution) are handled by the Hawaii Newspaper Agency. HNA is a limited partnership controlled by Gannett, owner of the rival Honolulu Advertiser.Black Press Ltd., based in Victoria, B.C., owns the 14 Sound Publishing papers and an additional 64 papers in western Canada. "

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