For the first time in more than half a century, a major metro daily newspaper is stepping up against the long-revered New Orleans Times-Picayune. It’s a battle between Louisiana’s two largest newspapers, and it’s being closely eyed by media analysts and major newspapers across the nation.
It’s been widely reported that The Advocate has been preparing for the official launch of its daily New Orleans edition, the timing of which coincides with The Times-Picayune’s start of a three-day-a-week print edition and a big shift to digital news. In return, The Times-Picayune decided to start its own operations in Baton Rouge.
The decision by Times-Pic owner Advance Publications/Nola Media Group to scale back its daily print newspaper has sparked an outrage in the Crescent City, and it’s an outcry that’s been unique as other cities going through the same digital transformation have not experienced nearly the same level of backlash from residents.
An Associated Press report published on ABC News’ website notes that the T-P/Advo situation is a history in the making that’s got the full attention of the newspaper industry as it unfolds:
Nola Media is telling readers the print edition will be familiar, complete and even better. Prototype pages included an expanded opinion section and color comics for the Wednesday edition, which will carry three days’ worth of comics and crossword puzzles.
The Advocate has built its reputation on accountability reporting in state government and coverage of Louisiana State University, particularly school sports.
Both newspapers have steadily shifted to online news.
Edward Atorino, a media industry analyst at Benchmark Co., said other newspapers in major metropolitan markets will closely watch The Times-Picayune’s experiment.
Audit Bureau of Circulation figures show paid circulation for The Times-Picayune at just under 155,000 for Sunday and more than 134,000 daily. It has never come close to the more than 257,000 figure prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The paper won two Pulitzers for its coverage of Katrina.
The Advocate hopes to grow its print audience by 20,000 in the New Orleans area. Currently, they sell about 400 papers a day there.
Publisher David Manship said 10,000 free copies were being distributed this week.
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APR 18 So Gov. Jindal's new press secretary already has blocked blogger CB Forgotston from her Twitter account, CB tells us in this post. Sure, CB hasn't exactly been sugar sweet to the lady, but if his blogs are all it takes for her to get in a huff she better find some intestinal fortitude somewhere, because that's just the tip of the iceberg.
APR 18 Pooyie! Robert Kennedy Jr. isn't pulling any punches in this column on Huffington Post about the flood board's lawsuit against Big Oil and Bobby Jindal's involvement in efforts to kill it. Kennedy, who is president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, describes Jindal as 'genuflecting to Big Oil's pressure' and 'the industry's chief indentured servant.' Dang!
APR 18 Here's a video of UL Coach Mark Hudspeth showing he can pump some serious iron. It sure impressed the Dr. Saturday blog, which calls his press of 370 pounds a "ridiculous" number for a coach -- and opines that no other college coach could beat ours.
APR 18 Columnist John Maginnis offers some advice to Vance McAllister on this post: Don't quit. Republicans have demanded he resign, but offer no "sensible answer" to the question of why David Vitter shouldn't leave, too, he says. McAllister needs to do his duty and serve out his (abbreviated) term, Maginnis says.
APR 18 Blogger Lamar White Jr. comments upon the plan to make a Bible Louisiana's "official book" in this post. He argues his point by telling us the story of an immigrant couple who moved to Louisiana: Amar and Raj, whose oldest child is now our Governor. This action would have a much larger impact, he opines.
APR 18 There's only one major bill left defending public education, blogger Mike Deshotels writes in this post. He's also got a few choice words for state Superintendent John White, who implies that Louisiana teachers would be thrown into chaos and disarray if they didn't have a test to teach. (Maybe kids would actually get an education then? Nah!)
APR 18 An effort to set up speed cameras on the Interstate has been shut down before it even got started, columnist Stephanie Grace tells us in this post. A bill to block the practice is sailing through the legislature -- where apparently no one wants visitors to our fair state to arrive home to a ticket. (These guys must never drive on I-10 with people from Texas).
APR 18 Blogger Tom Aswell reassures everyone worried about the staffers for Rodney Alexander -- the ones who didn't go to work for McAllister or Candid Camera, anyway -- with this post. Apparently one staffer for the retired Congressman (who also worked for a preacher accused of sexual assault) already has been hired by Alexander in the state department he now runs, Aswell says.
APR 17 At the start of the Tuesday board meeting that ended with his removal from the President's post, Joe Aguillard told the governing board of Louisiana College that SACS, the accreditation agency, requires the board to adopt a confidentiality agreement regarding board actions. Later that day, SACS told the Town Talk that confidentiality agreements would never be required. Calvinist or not, isn't lying wrong?
APR 17 Here we are, looking like backwater dummies again in the national media. This story on Huffington Post tells the nation that our legislators are so scared of the Louisiana Family Forum that they won't vote to repeal a law that was ruled illegal years ago. (Guess these particular Christians don't cotton to that "love one another" thing.)
APR 17 Here's an interesting column from Paul Stanley, political opinion editor of the Christian Post. He breaks down the differences between David Vitter and Vance McAllister, in terms of political realities. What he found surprising was the fact that many GOP leaders are swinging a self-righteous sword at McAllister which had remained sheathed when Vitter's "sin" was revealed. He does have an interesting theory -- that Jindal's people want the Vitter issue to be revived.
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