Oct 8, 201209:12 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

Hey Newhouses, It Doesn't Work, Here's Why

Last Monday and Tuesday I got to experience a daily local newspaper though the folks in New Orleans were denied one. I was at a conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., and each morning there were copies of the daily, The Arizona Republic, in the hotel lobby. Back home, the former daily’s Monday edition had been reduced to a sports tabloid; in the Phoenix area, the Gannett-owned newspaper was bursting with the news of the day.

Fortunately for the New York-based Newhouses, they live in an area where the prominent newspapers are not owned by them, so they can read the daily news in the Times or the Post or several New Jersey papers. Because of the Newhouses, however, we, alone among major American cites, have to change our news consumption habits.


I never doubted that the remaining staff of The Times-Picayune would be able to produce a decent newspaper on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. In effect, they are doing three Sunday papers, but that’s not the way I want my news dispersed. Working people only have time for Sunday papers on Sundays. No one had time for double the news on a weekday, not even double the comic pages. Sure the Monday paper was thin, but so was my time frame on Mondays. The daily fit into our lives.


As for the town’s new daily, The Advocate, I am still hoping for the best. It has hit some bumps getting the circulation and deliveries in place, but that seems like something that can be solved soon. (Advocate Publisher David Manship has said that usually a plan to move into New Orleans would take a year to develop; because of the suddenness of the situation, they had to pull it together in eight weeks.) There is still some high profile former T-P talent out there. It would behoove The Advocate to bring some on board.


At least with The Advocate, we know who we are dealing with—David Manship, a native Louisianian who has had a condo in New Orleans so he actually knows his way around town, is the publisher. By contrast, the Newhouses have tried to isolate themselves with a layered corporate structure headed at the local level by an enforcer from Alabama. The bottom rung that he heads is called “Nola Media Group,” a name intended to sound local though no true local would do to the T-P what the Newhouses have.


So, for now, we need to be mindful of The Advocate, accept the T-P’s reduced role in the community yet, nevertheless, expect it to be a competent news source, and hope that the other news media can rise to the occasion.


Certainly we deserve coverage as good as what is available to the people of Scottsdale.      



Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival- Comus to Zulu by Errol Laborde is available at all area bookstores. Books can also be ordered via email at gdkrewe@aol.com or 895-2266.


Reader Comments:
Oct 8, 2012 10:38 am
 Posted by  Juan

I've been following your criticism of the Newhouses regarding their decision vis a vis the Times Picayune, and it's beginning to sound like one of those annoying children who cry and cry during the entire flight from Atlanta to New Orleans.

You're a veteran in the publishing industry, and you should know that the best medicine to combat maladies like the Newhouses is not to pout and whine about their reduced role in the community, or worst yet bringing up arid and tedious Scottsdale as an example for our city to look up to.

I would have actively lobbied local business to stop any advertising on the daily no mo' TP, boycott the use of their on line presence (why, even if you could have provided the link to the Scottsdale paper website, or better yet the Apache Junction edition), lead a community wide effort to say "hit the road Newhouses" by cutting off their profit source.

So how about it Mr. Laborde? Shall we knock off the whining and lead the way to hurt the Newhouses in their pocketbook? Maybe they'll decide to sell after all, and we can get the TP for pennies on the dollar.

Oct 8, 2012 11:15 am
 Posted by  Judy Conner

I agree with Juan. If we don't want to just rollover and accept the gruel we're given - what else is there? I've subscribed to Advocate and Wall Street Journal and read Gambit. Am prepared to stop TP when we all do at once. Let me know when. Thank you.

Oct 8, 2012 04:05 pm
 Posted by  NeatBigJ

I received a call soliciting a subscription which offered one month free. I explained that I refuse to support the Newhouses on any terms without their commitment to a daily publication. While I am sympathetic toward the people who still work for the paper, I feel the only way to send a message to corporate is to reject their current offering. I am subscribed to The Advocate and I believe that if enough of our citizens do the same eventually we will once again be able to enjoy a daily publication.

Oct 11, 2012 12:43 pm
 Posted by  TPWatcher

"In effect, they are doing three Sunday papers, but that’s not the way I want my news dispersed."

Totally agree. It's not "rhythmic": http://www.dumpthepicayune.com/i-aint-got-rhythm/

Oct 12, 2012 11:15 am
 Posted by  jbell

I have cancelled my subscription to The T-P, but they continue to throw it in my driveway. Could it be that they sell advertisements based on the number of deliveries as opposed to the number of subscriptions? I wonder how many other "canceled" subscribers receive the paper.

Nov 19, 2012 12:24 pm
 Posted by  RobNMarigny

I've placed my TP subscription on permanent vacation hold. I'll "return from vacation" when the TP is a daily paper again!

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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde


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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