June 26, 2013

The Advocate | Nola.com

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).

• He joined Michael Perlstein, who left the T-P in 2010.

The Times-Picayune and its website Nola.com announced a TV partnership of their own the same day, with Fox-affiliated WVUE-TV, which is also known as Fox 8. Those two organizations announced a sports partnership last year, and they’re expanding it to include teamwork on weather, breaking news and … investigative reporting.

Why’s that significant? Well besides the newspaper war angle and the coinciding announcements, WVUE and WWL are rivals, as this 2009 commercial shows:

Just to make things a little extra weird, New Orleans nonprofit news organization The Lens rents office space from WVUE, with which it has a robust relationship. Its stories have appeared in both The Advocate and on Nola.com.

One more layer: WWL is owned by Belo and will be owned by Gannett presuming the latter’s planned purchase of Belo’s TV stations goes through. Gannett owns five daily newspapers in Louisiana.

Advocate reporter Danny Monteverde tweeted yesterday about the Web of alliances, rivalries and partnerships roiling local journalism:


Related: Pennsylvania newspaper, TV station team to compete with less frequent Patriot-News

Correction: This post originally said three former Times-Picayune reporters were at WWL and cited Brendan McCarthy; he left WWL-TV to lead the Kentucky Center for investigative reporting earlier this month.

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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