Sep 3, 201208:28 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

The Times-Picayune Fiasco: Some News for the Newhouses from New Orleans

Hey Newhouses, as despised as your plans to minimize The Times-Picayune and to embarrass New Orleans have been, I have more bad news for you. We’re a different city now than we were a week ago. We’re tougher and more united and we have even less tolerance for distant owners and their hatchet men trying to tell us that less is more. We have suffered through a natural disaster. We all spent a night with our houses shaking and we have experienced several hot and humid days without electricity. When people live through something like that, they either leave town or feel more committed to their place. Smooth talk doesn’t go far with people who have experienced the rough side of life. New Orleans this Labor Day is bursting with news: The federal levees worked; some of of the parish levees did not. There is relief. There is tragedy. The Saints season opens next Sunday. The teams has taken hits during the off season but still remains a contender. Hurricane insurance? $10,000 deductibles? Fall elections? There’s plenty for a daily newspaper to write about, but on future Labor Days we will not be reading anything in The Times-Picayune for Monday is one of the days forbidden by the Newhouses. At least we will have the daily Advocate by then.

This week New Orleans begins its last month of having a locally published daily newspaper. What the Newhouses are doing to this city is a disgrace. We know there will be other other media alternatives to rally and fill the vacuum. Just like with those water stains on our ceilings, we will make improvements. Sir Newhouse, do you really think that your slash-and-burn and dazzle-with-digital plan will ever be fully embraced in New Orleans? If so, I have more news for you.

 

New Website Provides News and Numbers

Though the Newhouses see the web as the future, it is also a stronghold of opposition to their plans. The latest comes from Bill McHugh of Bush, Louisiana who provides links to related articles and some thoughtful number crunching. Check it out:

www.dumpthepicayune.com

Reader Comments:
Sep 3, 2012 11:34 am
 Posted by  mary

The Newhouse media company has never been known for high quality journalism or for having the best interests of newspapers and their readers, or even good journalism at heart. Look at the history. It was a sad day when the Newhouses bought the T-Picayune.

Sep 3, 2012 01:39 pm
 Posted by  peg

Moving onward and upward. Wouldn't expect anything less from such a great city, New Orleans.

peg goodman

Sep 3, 2012 03:55 pm
 Posted by  slc10

Twenty years ago I moved away from New Orleans after my family lived there for about seven years. I did enjoy reading the Times-Picayune which I thought be a quality publication.
Eventually, I went back to school, studied journalism and worked for a newspaper located in a suburb if Atlanta.
I kept up with the happenings of New Orleans including Katrina (obviously) and other situations.
The decision to change to a three day a week paper is not a good idea for a city the size of N.O.
While other cities print four or five days a week, they are in cities with a circulation of around 30,000 and less.
What this holding company is doing is way too premature and is something to consider in a few years but not 2012.
Keep up the good fight New Orleans and maybe things will work with the advocate or Tom Benson starts a paper.
just to get the dander up of some people I have to close with "Geaux Falcons"! I couldnt resist.

Sep 3, 2012 03:57 pm
 Posted by  Aiglefort

Mr. Laborde, you wrote well here! Thanks for taking the time. I'm in that spirit when I consider what Sen. Peterson and James McNamara are doing to the Historic Medical District and Mid-City. Somehow the good senator got herself bamboozled into believing the serpentine arguments of McNamara that the birminghamization of New Orleans would be good for the City. The ever-alert City Planning Commission evidently saw gold in them there hills and silently approved all zoning changes required. The directof of CPC even said the zoning change was done by "special process" instead of public hearings. In Lake Charles, we called that a backroom deal. And two mayors and two city councils either saw the same gold or were simply too sleepy or sheepish to see anything at all. Anyway, I've felt about the artificially constructed need for a new hospital much as you have felt about the Newhouses.

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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

about

Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.

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