Gannett grabs tourist mags

The owner of Hawaii’s largest daily newspaper has acquired a series of magazines geared toward tourists and its associated website, according to a report in today’s Pacific Business News. Gannett — one of the nation’s largest media conglomerates and stakeholder in the portal — has bought the “101 Things to Do” guides and website from their longtime publisher, Gregg Gardiner of Kaua`i.

The deal, announced in a Gannett news release, also includes the right to expand the franchise. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

“These fun and informative magazines are a great asset for Gannett not only because they enhance the publications we already own in Hawai`i, but also because they are a great idea we can take into other markets,” Gannett newspaper division president Gary Watson said in the release.

Gardiner — who also heads the Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative — published a “101 Things to Do” guide for O`ahu, Kaua`i, Maui and the Big Island. Publication frequency and circulation was not disclosed.

While the “101 Things to Do” magazines aren’t among the most visible, copies were sold and sent as a package to would-be travelers (such as through the Hawai`i Visitors and Convention Bureau), and its trademark lists of activities are often referenced on the web.

To be sure, Gannett is entering a crowded marketplace, evidenced by the ubiquitous racks in airports, hotel lobbies, along Waikiki streets and anywhere tourists gather, stuffed with dozens of free, glossy guidebooks and catalogs.

This Week Magazines publishes weekly guides for O`ahu and Maui and monthly guides for Kaua`i and the Big Island.
Established in 1966, the series today boasts a total annual circulation of more than 4.54 million magazines. The company also produces free publications for Ala Moana, Pearlridge and Victoria Ward shopping centers, the official Aloha Festivals magazine, and an in-flight magazine for Pleasant ATA.

Spotlight Hawaii Publishing produces a monthly guide to O`ahu and quarterly guides to Maui, Kaua`i and the Big Island.

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