Giveaways, delivery plans as Baton Rouge Advocate moves to lure Times-Picayune readers

CBS News |

New Orleans Times-Picayune photojournalist John McCusker talks with CBS News' Mark Strassmann about what will happen to the paper after Sept. 30. That's when, as Strassmann says, "the paper's management will cut its staff in half. Eighty-four journalists, including John McCusker, will lose their jobs."

Last month, Advance exec Steven Newhouse told me the overall newsroom reduction would be about 20 percent after the Nola Media Group staffed up; Times-Picayune journalists were encouraged to apply for those slots, Newhouse said. He said there would be about 150 people in the newsroom post-digital transition.

Meanwhile, Baton Rouge Advocate publisher David Manship tells New Orleans Magazine Editor Errol Laborde some of his shop's plans to infiltrate the New Orleans market once the Times-Picayune stops printing every day.

  • We are going to start giving papers away at stores, coffee shops and on street corners on Sept. 24th and will do so until October.
  • (As of Oct. 1) we will start home delivery in most zip codes and also have 400 plus single sales outlets and racks around the New Orleans area including some on the North Shore.
  • We are still working hard so that we can offer as many people as possible an opportunity to read the Daily New Orleans Edition of The Advocate.
  • "The paper became a mirror and a megaphone for the city's desperation" after Hurricane Katrina," Strassmann reports for CBS.

    Laborde wonders how a Saturday-less Times-Picayune (the paper will print Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays after its transition) would handle an advancing weather event like Tropical Storm Isaac. Don't tell Laborde to fire up his Web browser:

    There’s too much competition on the Web. I can go to the websites of the television stations, other print media and the new non-profits. The visionary Newhouses have compromised the news medium in which they were a monopoly, a daily newspaper, for the sake of another medium, the Web, in which there is already plenty activity.

    Laborde will take the Advocate on Saturdays. For what it's worth, Times-Picayune Editor Jim Amoss has said the paper's online-only coverage during Katrina contributed to the company's decision to focus on online journalism.

    Related: How Tropical Storm Isaac is unlike Hurricane Katrina | Baton Rouge Advocate moving into New Orleans

    • Andrew Beaujon

      Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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