Acadiana Advocate, KATC enter partnership on news coverage

Acadiana’s leading television station is joining forces with the community’s fast-growing daily newspaper in a new partnership that will help ensure better news coverage in print, on television and online.

KATC, the longtime ratings leader in Acadiana, and The Acadiana Advocate will collaborate on investigative projects and share coverage of news and sports.

Advocate reporters will contribute to KATC’s four daily newscasts, and reporting from the television station will appear in the printed newspaper. In addition, KATC’s weather team — Rob Perillo, Dave Baker and Daniel Phillips — will contribute daily reports for The Acadiana Advocate, with more detailed coverage during major weather events.

“Our news team at KATC is very excited about working in collaboration with the staff at The Advocate, as this newly forged journalistic partnership can only benefit our viewers and readers who have come to expect the highest quality of news coverage and investigative journalism here in Acadiana,” said Andrew D. Shenkan, president and general manager of KATC Communications.

“Our partnership will enable the area’s leading print and television reporters to work collaboratively to give Acadiana the news coverage it deserves,” said Peter Kovacs, The Advocate’s editor.

Richard Burgess, who runs The Advocate’s Acadiana newsroom on Johnston Street, said, “KATC is clearly committed to digging into the news of Acadiana, and we look forward to working with their team.”

The partnership is the most recent move in an aggressive campaign by The Advocate to extend its brand and coverage along Interstate 10, from Lafayette to New Orleans, as large newspaper chains have cut back on their commitment to Louisiana.

Both KATC and The Advocate are owned by privately held, family companies.

KATC Communications LLC is a subsidiary of Cordillera Communications, the broadcast division of Evening Post Industries, a privately held company that owns and operates broadcast television stations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Montana and Texas, and newspapers in South Carolina.

The Advocate was purchased by Dathel and John Georges in 2013 and has become one of the few American newspapers growing in circulation.

John Georges built his family-owned Imperial Trading from a small local grocery distribution company into an industry leader that operates in a dozen states and employs 750. Under his leadership, the newspaper company launched The Acadiana Advocate last year and has grown subscriptions by about a third.