The Advocate will begin daily home delivery of a New Orleans edition on Oct. 1 as that city’s Times-Picayune scales back its daily print newspaper coverage to three days a week, Advocate Publisher David Manship said in a notice to media in New Orleans.
The Advocate in July announced its intention of entering the New Orleans market and earlier this week announced the hiring of an 18-year Times-Picayune veteran as New Orleans bureau chief to lead a staff of reporters.
The Advocate also had included an introductory offer for home delivery in a flier that was distributed last month in a limited number of annual Advocate fall football tabloids sent to New Orleans.
Peter Mayer Advertising sent a letter out Wednesday on behalf of The Advocate to New Orleans area media outlets, saying there will be a news conference in the city on Sept. 24 to officially make the announcement.
“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 Oct. 1, 2012,” the letter said.
“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 said in his letter to media in the city, which triggered phone calls from prospective subscribers.
“We intend to continue providing subscribers with a daily newspaper that focuses on local, state and national news,” Manship said.
The Advocate’s front page will be reworked for a New Orleans edition that reflects more of the city’s news produced by reporters in its bureau there.
The Times-Picayune, which is owned by Advance Publications Inc., a Newhouse family company, announced plans in May to convert its daily newspaper to a 24-hour digital news source with a print edition occurring only on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
A new company, the NOLA Media Group, will oversee The Times-Picayune and its affiliated website, NOLA.com.
The move to a three-day-a-week print version has generated swarms of opposition across all ranks of New Orleans residents, ranging from cab drivers to university presidents.
In addition to its print cutbacks, the Times-Picayune told The Associated Press in May that it was laying off about 200 employees, 84 of them from the newsroom.
The Advocate’s New Orleans edition will be a return to a New Orleans presence for the newspaper. In May 2009, The Advocate shuttered its New Orleans bureau when it laid off 49 employees as the newspaper slogged through the recession.
“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,” Manship said. “As trends evolve, The Advocate will continue to deliver a daily, printed newspaper to our subscribers.”
“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.”