The company made the announcement tonight after a day that saw Saints owner Tom Benson make public his desire to buy the paper — and after the NOLA Media Group took a public shellacking from Sen. David Vitter.
According to NOLA.com, the Saints Monday editions will be delivered free to subscribers, or be available for 75 cents in newsboxes. It will be a tabloid, like the paper's Lagniappe section, rather than a broadsheet.
NOLA Media Group president RIcky Mathews made the announcement:
"We have the most extensive, most knowledgeable team of journalists covering the Saints of any media outlet anywhere," Mathews said. "It's important that their game coverage reach the largest possible audience, both online and in print. Our loyal subscribers deserve that. We did not want to make an official announcement until all of the details had been finalized."
(So it's important that the work of "the most extensive, most knowledgeable team of journalists" "reach the largest possible audience, both online and in print" when it comes to sports — but not to news?)
Sources in the T-P newsroom have openly wondered (and asked their editors) what a Saints Monday section would look like if there was actual breaking news on a Sunday — a plane crash, a series of shootings, the death of a public official. Would The Times-Picayune actually hold that news until its Wednesday edition, even though it had a sports edition on the stands?
The answer, at least for now: Those breaking news stories would be handled exclusively on NOLA.com, not in the print edition.