MediaWire memo | The Times-Picayune
Times-Picayune publisher Ashton Phelps Jr. has confirmed that the newspaper will cease daily publication, moving to three days a week in the fall: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. He also confirmed staff cuts, though he didn't say how large they will be. The New York Times' David Carr reported Wednesday night that the paper likely would cease daily publication
and that the two managing editors would leave.
This would make New Orleans the largest U.S. city without a daily newspaper. The Times-Picayune, with a circulation of about 155,000 on Sundays and 134,000 weekdays, would be the largest paper in the U.S. to shift to non-daily publication. Its circulation in March 2005, before Hurricane Katrina flooded the city and shrank the city's population: about 285,000 on Sundays and 257,000 weekdays.
In 2009 Advance Publications, which owns The Times-Picayune, shifted to twice-weekly printing for The Ann Arbor News and started to focus more on its website. It expanded that approach to other newspapers in Michigan last year
"I think this is a big blow," said Poynter business analyst Rick Edmonds. "Yes, it's happened in a few places, but Saginaw and New Orleans are not the same thing. You're talking about a major-league city."
Phelps told staff staff:
Press reports have necessitated our giving you this news now. We realize it will make people anxious, but we do not know enough today to be able to announce how the changes will affect individual employees. We will move as quickly as possible in the coming weeks to make that determination and to inform each of you personally.
The Times-Picayune announced on its site
that a new company, NOLA Media Group, will run the newspaper and its website, and another new company will print and deliver the paper. It said NOLA Media Group "will significantly increase its online news-gathering efforts 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
In some ways, the newspaper will be better on the remaining days, according to Jim Amoss, who is now editor of the paper and will run the new "combined content operation":
With a reduced printing schedule starting in the fall, Amoss said, plans call for the Wednesday, Friday and Sunday editions of The Times-Picayune to be in many ways more robust than each of the daily newspapers is currently. They will contain a richer and deeper news, sports and entertainment report, as well as a full week's worth of features such as society coverage, puzzles and comics.
"Grievous news," says David Simon
| Sen. Landrieu says, "Not having a daily print edition saddens me
" || Earlier: Times-Picayune may stop daily publication; faces deep cuts
The memo from Phelps: (more...)