Articles about "New Orleans Times-Picayune"


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

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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. “The caveat is that someone subscribing to The Oregonian may want more Oregon and Portland news.”

Experiences in other markets dominated by Advance papers may prove instructive. Read more

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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 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. Read more

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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

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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. The Lens has a strong partnership with local Fox affiliate WVUE, he said, from which The Lens rents newsroom space, and local public radio station WWNO. 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

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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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CJR: Times-Picayune changes resemble ‘an orderly liquidation’

CJR | WWLTV | St. Tammany News
In a town rich in history and its own peculiarities, NOLA.com seems like an out-of-town visitor,” Ryan Chittum writes in a extended look at the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s new reality as an online-focused newsroom.

Rather than the reinvention the news organization’s managers and owners see, Advance’s reduction of print frequency and staff at the newspaper “looks like an orderly liquidation,” Chittum writes. He says that “Web-production quotas” have been discussed and that the newspaper’s quality has declined: Read more

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Times-Picayune publisher: ‘This is chapter two’

The Times-Picayune’s digital-first strategy is working, the publisher said at a conference Tuesday.

His comments come after the paper switched in October from seven days of print editions to three days a week. The move was publicly criticized by residents in the city and has been the source of much discussion in the journalism industry.

But, Ricky Mathews, publisher of The Times-Picayune and president of NOLA Media Group, said the change was needed and is going well.

“This is a 50 chapter book,” he said. “The first chapter was we decided to make a bold change. This is chapter two. So far, so good, but we’ve got a lot to learn. Hopefully as a result of things that are successful for us and the mistakes we make, you can learn from that.”

He and Jim Amoss, vice president of content for NOLA Media Group, were guest speakers Tuesday at the Key Executives Mega Conference, being held in The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. The Inland Press Association, the Local Media Association and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association joined forces to put on the conference, which attracted more than 500 publishers, editors, sales directors and other media representatives.

Mathews said average daily circulation grew about 1 percent from the third quarter of 2012 (before the print change) to the fourth quarter in 2012 (after the change). Average Sunday circulation is flat. It’s not a huge growth, but Mathews said the paper’s circulation had been tracking down four percent to seven percent the past few years.

“We’re not kidding ourselves,” he said. “We’re trying to slow the decline.”

However, the numbers are dramatically climbing online and on mobile. NOLA.com had 3.4 million unique visitors a month in 2011. In 2012, it had 4.2 million. NOLA.com’s mobile platforms combined had more than 12 million page views in December 2012.

“Our readers have a voracious news appetite and we have to feed it,” Amoss said.

That task falls to the newsgathering operation.

“And let me dispel the notion that we have gutted our newsroom,” Amoss said.

He said the paper went from 181 staffers to 155. The organization, he said, also reinvigorated itself by hiring experienced journalists who were well versed in the digital world.

Mathews said, “One of the fundamental changes in the newsroom is our reporters and photographers no longer live in a print world. They are competing in the digital space in ways we’ve never done before.”

Added Amoss, “Our goal as journalists is to focus on our audience, to engage with them, to respond to them. That requires a culture change on the part of everyone in the newsroom.”

The company was split to further promote the idea of “digital first.” The NOLA Media Group includes content, human resources, sales and marketing employees. In January, it moved to the top two floors of One Canal Place in downtown New Orleans.

“We felt like the physical move was extremely important,” Mathews said. “We wanted to change a culture and move away from the print-centric culture.”

The newsroom is a reflection of the change. Mathews on Tuesday gave conference attendees a photo tour of the newsroom. The outside walls are glass windows and provide a 360 degree-view of the city.

Reporters have MacBooks and iPhones, but don’t have assigned desks.

“It helps control clutter,” Mathews said. “We worked hard to make it feel clean and be as paperless as possible.”

The newsroom also has a video studio. Mathews said they hired videographers and people with a TV background to help produce content.

The space also focuses on collaborative efforts, with several meeting spaces, white boards and creative spaces.

The collaborative efforts paid off during the Super Bowl, when NOLA.com’s coverage racked up 1.9 million page views in two weeks. It published 614 stories, 1,317 photos and 93 videos.

The Super Bowl, Amoss said, is just one example of coverage NOLA.com plans to continue providing.

“Our embracing of the digital future is in no way a diminishment of the kind of journalism we’ve always been committed to as a news organization,” Amoss said.

Carlie Kollath Wells is a New Orleans-based freelance reporter. She founded NewinNOLAblog.com, a website for new residents in New Orleans, and previously worked for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Retailing Today  and Drug Store News. Read more

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