I thought I would check in with our daily newspaper to see how things are going. Here are some responses from David Manship, the publisher of The Advocate.
“Unbelievable!” Manship says he had hoped to reach 10,000 subscriptions by the end of six months toward a goal of 20,000. As of last Thursday, less than two months, he was at 11,100. Also by Thursday, single day copies were at 6,000.
ON CIRCULATION AND DELIVERY PROBLEMS
“The first week was a disaster!” Manship concedes that he was understaffed to handle the volume of calls that came in. At first the strategy was to handle the calls in-house but outside help has since been brought in. Delivery was also a problem during the first few days, especially in certain zip codes where subscribers may have been scattered far apart. Manship insists that the problems have been” ironed out” by now and that the process should move smoothly.
According to Manship, they have so far brought in about $17,000 in new advertising but that is before really gearing up. During the first few days when there were the distribution problems some of the advertising was actually held back.
ON AN OFFICE
Construction continues on a bureau office that will be in Union Steep (near the old newspaper publishers’ row) in the CBD. The publisher estimates that the office should be functioning by the middle of November.
ON ENTERTAINMENT COVERAGE
That’s a priority. They are working on an “entertainment package.”
ON OBITUARY NOTICES
He says they have contacted all the funeral homes in the New Orleans area, but adds that it is up to the families to decide where they want the announcements to go. The number of announcements from the city, he says, is building gradually.
There is a TV campaign planned but it has been held back a few weeks.
ON GETTING WHERE IT’S GOING
There are still some adjustments to be made; by the end of the year it should hit its stride.
ON THE FUTURE
As long as there is the proper support, he says, The Advocate will be here.