BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge is reporting that its publisher has signed a letter of intent to sell the paper to New Orleans businessman John Georges.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/15akfe9 ) that the deal is expected to close by June 1. Terms were not disclosed.
The Advocate's average weekday circulation is about 98,000 and Sunday circulation is about 125,000 — boosted by its recent entry into the New Orleans market.
David Manship is publisher of The Advocate and chief operating officer of Capital City Press, which owns it.
He and Richard Manship, president and chief executive officer of Capital City Press, announced the agreement in a news release but would not comment further.
David Manship said the sale will be a stock sale with no planned interruption in business.
"We are extremely happy about the prospect of selling our family newspaper to a Louisiana businessman with strong ties to Louisiana," David Manship said.
Georges declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement.
Georges, 52, whose business holdings range from food service distribution to Galatoire's restaurant, said in January that he had a "serious interest" in buying The Advocate and that he expected any official offer for the newspaper would be before the summer.
Georges had approached Capital City Press about 20 months ago about buying The Advocate. Georges had said his talks with the Manship family, which owns Capital City Press, were put on hold for several months while the newspaper launched its daily New Orleans edition.
The Advocate, which employs about 450 people, launched the edition in October after The Times-Picayune in New Orleans decided to switch to a three-day-a-week print edition.
Georges Enterprises, a billion-dollar business, owns and manages a variety of Louisiana-based companies. Among those is the 98-year-old family business Imperial Trading Co., which was started by his maternal grandfather, a Greek immigrant named C.H. Pelias. Imperial Trading, a wholesale grocery company, has branches throughout the South, distributing goods to convenience stores. Other business interests are 68-year-old AMA Distributors; 91-year-old Harrison Co. in Bossier; and 108-year-old Galatoire's restaurant in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
The Advocate's name goes back to The Democratic Advocate, a weekly newspaper established in 1842. Charles P. Manship Sr. in 1912 formed Capital City Press, which at one time operated an afternoon paper and continues to run The Advocate.
JUNE 20 Here's the transcript of the esteemed journalist Rush Limbaugh's recent spot on Sen. Elbert Guillory. Guillory's video explaining why all black folks need to go running right over to the GOP (and no, one of the reasons given is not that you can't get elected Lt. Gov. as a "D" in this state) is "amazing" and a "tear-jerker" to Mr. Limbaugh. Of course, he doesn't mention that Guillory thought enough of the D party to join it so he could get elected to the state senate. But Rush doesn't disappoint; he does manage to make the spot about him in the end.
JUNE 20 Here's a WBRZ investigative piece on a foundation in Baton Rouge that may have some problems. Like what, you ask? How about under-reporting income by $700K or having a member who gets contributions by telling folks about her mystical experiences? This lady says it all began 30 years ago when a bishop who died "spoke" to her from his coffin, letting her know that she was not "out of her head." Um, OK.
JUNE 20 Here's another analysis (or post-mortem, as the case may be) for Gov. Jindal's recent post in Politico. This time, it's from the editorial board of the LSU Reveille. The kids say there were some problems with the column; mostly, they were related to Jindal insulting his friends, his enemies, and everyone in between, including himself. The contradictions Jindal displayed weren't lost on these students -- or anybody else.
JUNE 20 This post by the editorial board of the Picayune congratulates former Saint Steve Gleason on the "inspiring" way the man has responded to a mean-spirited and just plain appalling skit on a radio station about him and ALS, the paralyzing and fatal disease he has. As usual, the editorial states, Gleason directed attention from himself and to the disease, which he says is misunderstood, underfunded and ignored. Maybe this will bring some attention to the disease, the board writes.
JUNE 20 The Advocate posts this story about the sudden death of James Gandolfini, the television, stage and film actor probably best known for his role as Tony Soprano on the HBO series. Gandolfini died while vacationing in Italy, the story reports. He won three Emmys for the Sopranos role, but also was honored with a Tony nomination for God of Carnage.
JUNE 20 Clancy DuBos writes here about the legal, financial and political quagmire that is NOLA law enforcement these days. Sheriff Gusman and Mayor Landrieu are facing off in federal court, and as DuBos says, the stakes are high. Gusman's prison is "a hellhole," DuBos writes, and Landrieu claims the books there are "deliberately unfathomable." Gusman says everything's hunky dory, but it would be better if he got more money from Landrieu. What a mess.
JUNE 20 Blogger Tom Aswell says Gov. Jindal needs to quit touring the country bragging about his "gold standard" of ethics reform -- because it just ain't true. Aswell gives us a lot of statistics on our dismal ethics record, including a long list of violations committed by our fearless leaders and political groups. Taken all at once, it's not a pretty picture, and certainly not a golden one.
JUNE 20 This post in the Picayune reports that a contractor pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme that involved fake bids and kickbacks. The contractor said he cut a deal with a guy working for Orleans Sheriff Gusman to submit fake bids so his real company could "win" work for the sheriff, the story says. The former sheriff's employee already has pleaded guilty, the story says. Meanwhile, Sheriff Gusman says he hasn't been contacted by any investigators.
JUNE 20 Here's a Huff Post blog by Jason Linkins, taking a few shots at Gov. Jindal for his recent Politico column. For instance, he takes issue with Jindal's advice that the GOP "stop the bedwetting," pointing out that there were certainly some Jindal-positive patches on those damp sheets. But the main gist of the column is that Jindal was singing one tune back in November, but he's using a different score now. Either way, it's hitting a sour note with Linkins.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.