New Orleans Times-Picayune

The Advocate hires another Times-Picayune reporter as it expands coverage areas

The Advocate

The (Baton Rouge) Advocate has hired Times-Picayune reporter Richard Thompson as part of its expansion into St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes. Thompson has been reporting on the impacts of the BP oil leak for the past three years.

In an article about the news, Advocate Editor Peter Kovacs said:

“We are excited about the opportunity to provide coverage of these two important parishes and to chronicle the economic boom that is coming to the entire corridor between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. … Thompson’s range of experience makes him “the ideal journalist for this new mission.”

The Advocate — which has recently hired several Times-Picayune staffers and is run by former Times-Picayune editors — has been expanding from Baton Rouge into New Orleans throughout the past year. Read more


New Orleans newspaper war: Now with TV partnerships!

The Advocate |

Louisiana’s Advocate newspaper announced a partnership with New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL-TV Tuesday. Why’s that significant? The Advocate says it’s because the two entities will share sports, weather and investigative reporting. Those are all great reasons, but that last content vertical is especially tantalizing for people obsessed with Louisiana newsgathering, because two of WWL’s investigative reporters are former employees of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, with which the Advocate is locked in an escalating newspaper war.

• David Hammer left the Picayune for WWL-TV last June after the paper announced it would reduce print frequency and staff (since then, the Times-Picayune has increased print frequency again). Read more

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Oregonian hopes to ‘keep reporter numbers where they are today’

How many jobs did The Oregonian shed after it announced staff and home-delivery reductions last week? Willamette Week’s Aaron Mesh reports “about 95 employees” lost their jobs.

University of Oregon professor Suzi Steffen was more exact:

Asked about layoff numbers, Oregonian editor Peter Bhatia referred me to publisher N. Christian Anderson III, who told me in an email: “I am not commenting on the number of layoffs, either company-wide or in the newsroom. At any rate, not everyone who was offered a severance package may end up leaving.” Read more


What will Oregonian reductions mean for competing news orgs, readers?

The Columbian | Editor & Publisher | Gambit | The Advocate | Willamette Week | The Portland Mercury

The just-announced reductions in home delivery and staff at Advance’s The Oregonian aren’t good news to journalists who’ll find out Friday whether they still have jobs or to people who like getting the newspaper at home. But what do they mean for other news organizations and to people who consume news?

The Columbian is published just across the Columbia River from Portland in Vancouver, Wash. Its publisher, Scott Campbell, tells Columbian reporter Cami Joner the paper has no plans to cut delivery frequency.

“If there are subscribers over here that subscribe to The Oregonian only and they’re interested in a seven-day publication, they may want The Columbian,” Columbian circulation and production director Marc Dailey tells Joner. Read more


Advocate publisher says paper is adding 500 subscribers a week

The Advocate | NPR | New York Times

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

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. Read more


Advocate strikes deal to print New Orleans obits

The Advocate | U-T San Diego | CT News Junkie

The (Baton Rouge) Advocate “has reached deals with more than a dozen funeral homes to begin printing their obituaries” in its New Orleans edition, the paper reports.

“The lack of local obituaries has been a frequent criticism of subscribers,” a report from the paper’s New Orleans bureau says.

The obituaries news is another challenge to The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune by The Advocate, which moved aggressively into the New Orleans market after the Times-Picayune reduced print frequency last year. New Orleans businessman John Georges purchased the Advocate this year, and the paper has hired some prominent Times-Picayune veterans.

The Advocate has also announced an advisory panel for its New Orleans edition that includes Anne Milling, who was among a group of prominent New Orleanians who petitioned Advance Publications to sell the Picayune rather than reduce its print frequency. Read more


Readership, alliances up at other New Orleans news outlets in last year

Friday morning The Lens ran a photo essay looking at print habits of New Orleanians in the year since The Times-Picayune announced it was reducing staff and print frequency. I decided to check in on some of the city’s other news outlets (not The Advocate; we write about that paper plenty) to see whether the changes at the city’s biggest newspaper had affected their fortunes.

Lens Managing Editor Steve Myers says traffic and audience at the news nonprofit have tripled since last May. “We saw a bump last summer where I think people started to look around,” he said by phone. “Starting last fall they really started to go way up when we started to be a little more disciplined about keeping the site fresh.”

Lens stories appear in both The Advocate, which has made an aggressive play for New Orleanians who miss getting a paper seven days per week — as has the Times-Picayune — and on the Times-Picayune’s website. Read more

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On 1-year anniversary of Times-Picayune announcement, photographer looks at print readership

The Lens | Media of Birmingham

One year ago today, spurred by a New York Times story, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune announced it would reduce staff and print frequency. Photographer Bevil Knapp took a look last June at how New Orleanians consumed the print paper; on Friday The Lens published another essay showing the subjects a year later.

Wilbert “Mr. Chill” Wilson cuts Gail Brooks’ hair in 2012. (Photo by Bevil Knapp)
Wilson with fellow barber Carson Gauthreaux Jr. a year later (Photo by Bevil Knapp)
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Advocate owner says he ‘tried to buy’ Times-Picayune

The Advocate | WWL | Dump the Picayune | The Times-Picayune

The Baton Rouge, La.-based Advocate announced Wednesday it was hiring four reporters from the Times-Picayune, a paper with which it is engaged in a growing newspaper war.

In a May 2 interview, WWL-TV anchor Melanie Hebert passed on a viewer question to John Georges, The Advocate’s new owner: Would he be interested in buying the Times-Picayune “You can’t buy something that there’s not a willing seller,” Georges replied.

I tried to buy them. I sent word to them before the Advocate or during the Advocate and they weren’t interested in selling.

Advance, which owns the Times-Picayune, has repeatedly said the paper is not for sale. Read more

Newspaper War

Former Times-Picayune editors will lead Baton Rouge Advocate, which has a new owner

The Advocate | The Times-Picayune

Former New Orleans Times-Picayune managing editors Dan Shea and Peter Kovacs will serve as General Manager and Editor, respectively, of the Baton Rouge Advocate, which announced it had been purchased by New Orleans businessman John Georges Tuesday night. Current Advocate Executive Editor Carl Redman will remain as senior editor, The Advocate’s announcement says.

The news would seem to signal a newspaper war in Louisiana.

Shea and Kovacs were ousted by the Times-Picayune last year as it prepared to reduce print frequency and staff.

“This was too good a prospect to pass up: we’re preserving local ownership of great newspaper, showing how the trend to digital is not incompatible with seven-day print, and bringing our enthusiasm and experience to a great staff,” Shea wrote in an email to Poynter Tuesday night. Read more

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