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Sep 10, 201207:55 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

The Times-Picayune Fiasco: Advocate Speaks Out; Newhouses Hear Noise

Steven Newhouse's wish for the noise to stop will have to wait a little longer. Last week, The Advocate made some bold statements including the following:


-- T-P veteran Sarah Pagpones, was named The Advocate's new New Orleans bureau chief. Pagones worked on several of the T-P's regional editions as well as an editorial writer. T-P staffers give her good reviews as someone capable of the job.


-- David Manship, publisher of The Advocate, issued a statement directed at the New Orleans market in which he emphasized his family's committtment to daily print journalism. Some excerpts:


(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.


-- Manship's letter, which was distributed by the New Orleans based Peter Mayer Advertising agency, also included information that many people have been looking for, a number to subscribe to The Advocate's New Orleans edition: 504-529-0522. According to Manship, daily delivery service will begin in New Orleans Oct.1, the same day the Newhouses implement their T-P scale down. Free copies of The Advocate will be distributed throughout New Orleans beginning Sept. 24.


-- Manship's letter was issued last Wednesday. On Friday, the Mayer agency issued a follow-up statement with this headline: PENT UP DEMAND FOR DAILY NEWSPAPER IN NEW ORLEANS FLOODS THE ADVOCATE'S CALL CENTER. According to the release, additional operators have been added to handle the volume. Subscriptions can also be arranged via a website: http://theadvocate.com/help/subscriptions.


An interested source not connected to The Advocate confirmed anecdotal information that subscriptions are going well.


Finally, last Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I read my home edition of The Times-Picayune, noticed the bylines of some reporters who will be leaving by the end of the month, appreciated the hurricane coverage, paged through the general news, read some of the columns and perused the sports section while still being shocked over the lunacy by which those daily editions will not be available in a few weeks.


By contrast, here are the closing lines to Manship's letter:


We have earned the trust of Baton Rouge citizens by delivering a quality daily newspaper for more than a hundred years. And we are committed to doing the same in New Orleans.


We will be able to test that committment as soon as the first Monday in October.


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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 atgdkrewe@aol.com or (504-895-2266)


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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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