In response to the cutbacks at The Times-Picayune, the Advocate of Baton Rouge has opened a bureau and will begin printing a New Orleans edition Monday. Now — en garde, y'all! — the T-P strikes back, announcing it will expand its Baton Rouge bureau and begin distributing a Red Stick version of the T-P, as well as create a Baton Rouge-focused landing page for NOLA.com:
A customized Baton Rouge version of the NOLA.com website and a Baton Rouge edition of The Times-Picayune, as well as targeted home delivery in the Baton Rouge metro area will be in place by the end of the year, said Ricky Mathews, NOLA Media Group president. The company will also make available for purchase in Baton Rouge the new "Black and Gold Extra" publication to be printed after Saints games on days The Times-Picayune doesn't publish a print edition. The Black and Gold Extra launches Oct. 1 with complete coverage of the Saints game against the Green Bay Packers and other NFL coverage.
The Baton Rouge managing editor will be Carlos Sanchez, a veteran journalist who may be able to feel the pain of all the fired Times-Pic employees — he was laid off as editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald in Texas last year.
Advocate publisher David Manship is said to be in meetings right now; we'll update this post with his reaction.
UPDATE: Here's Manship's statement on the move:
"The Advocate will begin home delivery of its New Orleans edition throughout the metropolitan regional area on Oct. 1. We are excited to provide a printed, local daily newspaper to the New Orleans area — and the response we have received to date has been very strong.
NOLA Media Group announced today that they will open a Baton Rouge bureau to report on Baton Rouge news. We wish them well with their new venture in Baton Rouge as we begin providing New Orleans with a new daily printed newspaper."
"Easy Pay" (credit card and checking account autodebit) subscribers to The Times-Picayune got a letter today from director of circulation Philip H. Ehrhardt, explaining the paper's new price point when it goes to thrice-weekly publication starting Oct. 1. It's going from $18.95 per week to $16.95 for what's being called an "enhanced" paper. (The website Dump the Picayune has scanned a copy of the letter.)
Ehrhardt tells subscribers with questions to visit the NOLA Media Group's customer care page at www.nola.com/customercare ... which is where you'll find this:
On the T-P's subscription page, you can still subscribe to the 7-day edition, which is going away in two weeks, but there's still no 3-day option:
In other newspapering news, The Advocate — which begins distributing its new New Orleans edition Monday — is having a kickoff party Monday at 10:30 a.m. at Rock 'n' Bowl. Its subscription page seems to be working.
"We definitely need more than 1,000," he told Gambit this morning. "I'd like to get 20,000. But we're looking at 5,000 to 10,000, and I think that’s easily obtainable based on the response we got yesterday."
The Advocate's push into the New Orleans market, of course, is in response to The Times-Picayune's scaling back to thrice-weekly publication as of Oct. 1, concentrating its news gathering online at NOLA.com under the name NOLA Media Group.
"We still believe in the printed newspaper every day," Manship said. "We don’t doubt the importance of digital — we have a website and an app; we even have an e-edition, so we feel like we are there. We just felt like the people of New Orleans were very strong toward their reading of the Picayune seven days a week. So we thought we’d step in and fill the void."
Under the cut: Manship discusses distribution, advertisers, and office space for The Advocate's new New Orleans bureau ...
Good Afternoon, as the Publisher of The Advocate in Baton Rouge, my family has been providing a daily newspaper to the citizens of Louisiana since the early 1900s. In fact, like the newspaper in New Orleans, The Advocate’s origins date back 170 years to 1842. And like New Orleanians, the citizens of Baton Rouge demand quality journalism and are accustomed to receiving it in the form of a daily newspaper. We are proud to meet that demand.
We recognize that the way people get their news is changing. And we will keep up with these changes by delivering news in all the different formats our subscribers use, including print. As trends evolve, The Advocate will continue to deliver a daily, printed newspaper to our subscribers.
Changes in the way The Times-Picayune gathers and reports news have revealed that there is a demand for a daily newspaper in New Orleans that will not be met by any New Orleans publications, beginning October 1, 2012. This would end a 175-year tradition of delivering a daily newspaper to New Orleanians and make New Orleans the largest city in the U.S. without a daily printed paper. At The Advocate, we think New Orleans and its citizens deserve a quality newspaper printed each and every day, and we intend to provide one.
Good news, New Orleans!
The Advocate New Orleans Edition will be available October 1st. Call 504-529-0522 for a special introductory rate!
More under the jump, including the announcement of a New Orleans bureau chief for The Advocate ...
The Hayride is a pugnacious, fiercely conservative website covering Louisiana and national politics. Each day, publisher Scott McKay sends out "The Nooner," an email with summaries and links to stories both on the Hayride and in the national media.
But a cartoon on today's Hayride by writer/cartoonist Tom Bonnette has stirred some controversy. We're not going to reprint the cartoon here (it's a play on Rep. Todd Akin's now-infamous reference to "legitimate rape," and titled "Do We Really Want To Keep Talking About Akin?"), but here are some of the reactions:
I emailed McKay (who posts on the Hayride as "MacAoidh"), because I wasn't quite sure who the rapist was supposed to be (Uncle Sam? Bill Clinton?). His response under the jump.
AMITE — State Supt. of Education John White addressed the Tangipahoa Parish School Board Tuesday, giving the same insipid speech he gave about a month ago in Amite.
For almost an hour, the board heard a stream of fast talk and hot air, similar to his boss, about the next layer of bureaucracy that is settling over the state's education system that will supposedly lift Louisiana students out of the muck and mire of ignorance.
Board member Al Link picked up on the cadence, saying, "My life is getting more difficult because young people talk too fast."
White arrived late, like he did for the previous speech, dressed like he was attending a corn husking party in an open shirt with the sleeves rolled up and wrinkled, too-tight pants about half way unzipped. ...
Now that plan is taking further shape, with six New Orleans-based jobs listed on the paper's website: New Orleans bureau chief, staff writer/reporter, sportswriter, copy editor, photographer and sales rep. The local bureau will be a virtual one, at least at first, "with reporters and the bureau chief working from their homes and at WiFi hot spots in the community."
The move, of course, is meant to compete with The Times-Picayune's moving to thrice-weekly publication in October, and is scheduled to occur around the same time. Unlike the T-P, The Advocate will continue to publish seven days a week.
The Advocate was first published in 1842, making it only five years younger than The Times-Picayune. It is owned by Baton Rouge's Manship family, which also owns WBRZ-TV, the city's ABC television affiliate.
Subscription details are still being worked out; entering a New Orleans ZIP code on the paper's subscription page still returns the message "We are sorry but we do not deliver to your area."
On the Senate side, 12 lawmakers scored a perfect 100 percent, earning the title “Outstanding Family Advocate.” Five were from the New Orleans metro area: Sens. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie; A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell; Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville; Danny Martiny, R-Metairie; and David Heitmeier, D-New Orleans.
Two local state senators — Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, and Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, scored low enough to earn the designation “Hostile.”
It was much the same in the House, where the local 100-percenters included Reps. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie; Paul Hollis, R-Covington; Kevin Pearson, R-Slidell; John Schroder, R-Covington; Tim Burns, R-Mandeville; Greg Cromer, R-Slidell; and Raymond Garofalo, R-Chalmette. The only metro state representative to earn a “Hostile” rating from the LFF was Rep. Jared Brossett, D-New Orleans.
Meanwhile, Fox News personality and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee launched a “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” set for Aug. 1, which was supported by self-styled family-values types including Fox News personality and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, former Pennsylvania Gov. Rick Santorum — and the newly formed East Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce.
A civic business council taking a stance on a divisive social issue? It makes sense when you find out that the chamber’s chairman is Woody Jenkins, publisher/editor of several small newspapers in central Louisiana and a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for nearly three decades, where his voting record was lauded by both the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family.
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