John Georges, publisher of The Advocate in Louisiana, told the New Orleans City Council on Thursday the paper is adding 500 new subscribers each week as it expands from Baton Rouge into New Orleans.
“The Advocate feels very loved right now,” Georges told the council, according to his own paper. Georges said it was proof the city wants a seven-day newspaper delivered to homes after the city’s Times-Picayune became a three-day-a-week paper to focus on NOLA.com.
The expansion of the Advocate into a daily New Orleans edition has been fraught with drama. The Advocate has recently poached a raft of talent from the Times-Picayune, which has planned a new “street” tabloid for previous non-print days. Georges has been quite vocal about wanting to take over the Big Easy, telling WWL-TV anchor Melanie Hebert he had wanted to buy the Times-Picayune outright, but Advance insisted it wasn’t for sale.
City council members pressed Georges for details on what would happen in the Advocate newsroom — including a plea for more positive news. Georges said that wasn’t his call.
“I personally thrive in the good news department, but I’m not in charge of the content of the paper,” Georges said. He did promise the paper would augment daily obituaries, however: “We will add as we go along. You cannot build Rome in one day.”