A Statement from the President of the Press Club of New Orleans on The Advocate’s Purchase of The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com
Dear Members of the Press Club of New Orleans and Members of the New Orleans Media,
The purchase of The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com by The Advocate owners John and Dathel Georges and its sale by Advance Local Media LLC and the Newhouse family represents a new effort to balance the rich history of print newspapers in New Orleans with the future of online publication that is playing out nationwide.
As with the original decision by Advance to redirect its efforts away from print and towards the internet, Thursday’s purchase will result in the loss of news employees on both the editorial and business sides at NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune, while also strengthening the survivability of The Advocate’s efforts to make its New Orleans edition sustainable. The Advocate reports that it will expand its New Orleans news, advertising and circulation staff by hiring from current NOLA.com and TheTimes-Picayune employees, and will increase its coverage of suburban communities, sports and arts and entertainment, and also improve its opinion pages. There will be numerous jobs lost however and we urge all media operations in the New Orleans area and elsewhere throughout the nation to reach out during this difficult time to the journalists affected by the purchase. They are qualified and valued editorial and business employees deserving of an opportunity at continuing a career important to the public at large.
The reputation of fine reporting that The Times-Picayune earned since its founding in 1837 should be respected and built upon by the media outlet’s new owners, who already have shown under the 177-year-old moniker of The Advocate, that they, too, are intent on producing nationally-recognized, quality journalism. The Advocate and The Times-Picayune report that the new newspaper debuting in June will carry with it the branding and flags of both outlets, keeping alive the name and the tradition of the 182-year-old The Times-Picayune and its tremendous contributions to journalism, newspapering and the city it has served so well in happy times and tragic moments.
As always, the PCNO strives to serve and support the journalists in our ranks and all of our members, but never more than in times like this when our journalistic community is experiencing a major transition. In addition to reaching out directly to the local journalists affected by the situation, if you, your outlet or company are hiring, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can post the listings on our digital channels.
Melanie Warner Spencer
Press Club of New Orleans
(This statement was co-written by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune environment reporter Mark Schleifstein, a current PCNO board member and two-time former PCNO president.)