Times-Pic staff learns fate Tuesday as advertisers rally
UPDATE: About one-third of The Times-Picayune's staff is being laid off today; read what the paper is reporting here.
Even as a coalition of major advertisers signs on to the grass-roots effort to keep a daily newspaper in New Orleans, staff members of The Times-Picayune begin learning Tuesday what the future holds for them with the venerable publication.
Citing sources, Gambit is reporting that employees have begun meeting with the paper’s newsroom brass — Editor Jim Amoss, City Editor Gordon Russell, Online Editor Lynn Cunningham, Features Editor Mark Lorando, Sports Editor Doug Tatum, and possibly others — to find out if they will have a job with the paper in the future and, if not, what their severance packages might be.
When news of parent company Advance Publications Inc.’s plan to cut back the paper’s distribution to Wednesday, Friday and Sunday only, slash the staff and shift its focus to digital news gathering broke in late May, a groundswell of opposition in the community was galvanized. On Monday, a group formed to lobby for keeping the T-P daily — The Times-Picayune Citizens’ Group — announced that nearly a dozen major newspaper advertisers including Ray Brandt Automotive Group, Latter & Blum and Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry had joined the campaign.
But the rally doesn’t appear to be swaying Advance Publications. Incoming Publisher Ricky Mathews has said the changes are in the long-term interests of the paper and its parent company. When the changes go into effect this fall, New Orleans will become the largest U.S. city without a daily newspaper.
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DEC 11 It's the holiday season, and that means you can count on seeing some pretty crazy stuff going down at the Wal-Mart, but this story out of Marshall, Texas takes the cake. A man went in and attacked a couple of people with a hatchet. Who stopped him? A customer who started launching soup cans at him -- and connected with his noggin. The story tells us that while some folk were injured, everyone's been released from the hospital.
DEC 11 Blogger Tom Aswell joins the ranks of those looking into the "Fund for Louisiana's Future," which of course is not really aimed at improving our future. So far, it seems aimed at getting Louisiana to remove its $100,000 cap on campaign contributions, he tells us. Also, it is overseen by the same guy who tried to give us President Mitt Romney -- and he seems bent on picking our next governor.
DEC 11 Here's a post on NOLA Defender from the chef de cuisine at Delmonico's about gumbo. Chef Anthony Scanio shares childhood food memories that aren't quite a warm and fuzzy cliche -- but they certainly sound authentic. His personal story isn't just about food, it's a true New Orleans boy's upbringing. It's a cool story, and it ends with recipes for seafood gumbo and red beans.
DEC 11 Blogger Lou Gehrig Burnett writes here on Bayou Buzz about GOP efforts to mount a candidate against Sen. Mary Landrieu -- "a" being the operative word. So far, Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness are both in the race, and as long as the ultra-conservative Maness remains he poses a threat to the Republicans' hopes to unseat Mary. There's also a bit on what's up in Texas -- where Gov. Rick Perry's rejection of Medicaid money is causing other lawmakers some trouble.
DEC 11 Qualifying for New Orleans municipal races opens today, and Gambit's Clancy DuBos is most interested in people running against Sheriff Marlin Gusman, a frequent topic of Clancy's posts -- and a lot of other media posts as well. So far, the most interesting candidate expected to qualify is former sheriff Charles Foti. But Gusman's biggest enemy may be himself, given his 33 percent approval rating.
DEC 11 It may be the season of brotherly love, but John Maginnis is not falling for David Vitter's Christmas story. In this post, he poo-poos the very idea that Vitter and his family will spend the holidays in prayerful reflection so that they can decide if the Senator will run for governor. He also gives some predictions on what could happen if Vitter did get elected, throwing in a cautionary reference to the big ole egg laid by the GOP up in North Louisiana's recent Congressional race.
DEC 11 Well, knock us over with a rainbow-colored feather. The Shreveport City Council passed an ordinance granting equal protection to LGBT folks, this KSLA story reports. It basically forbids discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. According to the story, city workers already have had that protection, since 2009.
DEC 11 That nice lady over in Denham Springs must still be mad at her neighbors for stealing her dog, because she's back up on her roof, making a big ole "one finger salute" in Christmas lights. This story in the Advocate even gives us a picture of the process underway, in case you are experiencing a similar situation and would like some finger-display-creation tips.
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