Starting Oct. 1 the Marianas Variety News & Views will begin printing and publishing a Guam edition — the Marianas Variety—Guam.
However printing an edition on Guam has not come without delays and obstacles for owners and publishers Abed and Paz Younis of Saipan.
The Marianas Variety is a family-owned and-operated newspaper and art publishing company operated under the company of Younis Art Studio and was printed in Saipan and flown to Guam each early morning Monday to Friday for distribution for the past five years.
The Guam-dedicated daily newspaper first appeared on Guam on Jan. 29 1999 under the name Guam Variety News & Views and had a staff of 12. The paper reported a readership of 12 000.
Due to economic conditions the Guam Variety passed on into history on May 1 2002 but the Marianas Variety News & Views continued to be distributed on Guam with sections of the paper featuring Guam news written by three staff reporters producing nine stories per edition.
Amier C. Younis operations manager for the Marianas Variety—Guam told the Journal “The Marianas Variety News & Views will become the Marianas Variety—Guam edition and it will feature extensive local news coverage feature stories local sports community events local classified ads as well as local columnists and an editorial section dedicated to specific Guam issues.” Between 4 000 to 5 000 of Guam paper will be printed.
Amier Younis a 2001 business graduate from the University of Washington said that growing the Guam side of the company was a story of a string of challenges that has lead to the newspaper re-establishing itself as Guam’s local paper.
The perpetual challenge that continued to plague the newspaper’s growth was finding a web printing press and knowledgeable operators in the region to operate it.
A new press was purchased in Florida and brought to Guam in March 2000. The press sat idle in its container while an extensive on-island search continued for operators. The search proved fruitless and the Younis family’s frustration continued to grow because there were operators at the Younis Art Studio home offices in the village of Garapan in Saipan 120 miles away.
“Although we had operators in Saipan it would seem a world away because building the bridge between Saipan and Guam would mean having to go through the H-2 process and bringing them here from the Philippines ” Younis said. “It was the biggest hurdle we had before us. It seemed that for four long years we tried and for one reason or another the process was delayed.”
In July final approval for two operators was received and Younis said two of the company’s best press operators came from Saipan via Manila.
The press christened “Elizabeth ” was ready to roll at its new home in the Ixora Commercial Complex located in the Harmon Industrial Park. The press is located in the same building where the Marianas Variety reported on Guam’s longest-running trial in its judicial history the Royal Palm Case. The building was formerly the purpose-built courtroom for the case.
“Now we have the ability to meet morning delivery times and do the things a real local newspaper owes its readers ” Younis said.
He said one of the features that the newspaper will have is the ability to publish legal notices as well as offer classified advertising. “We offer a significant savings for individuals government agencies and law firms seeking to sell items or publish legal or meeting notices now that we are a local paper in every sense of the word.”
A staff of 18 will produce the paper and plans for a Web site are under consideration Younis said. The new edition will be available for sale for 50¢ at convenience stores gas stations and vending machines throughout the island. Home and office deliveries are also available. MBJ