Slow motion suicide

That’s how LBJ’s right hand man Joe Califano famously described cigarette smoking when he was Carter’s HHS Secretary. It fits what’s happening at the New Orleans Sometimes Picayune since NOLA tycoon/unsuccessful political candidate John Georges bought the Advocate.

Here’s my pal Kevin Allman on the latest turn of the screw:

Since New Orleans businessman John Georges boughtThe Advocate
just a week ago, things have been moving quickly. Georges installed
former T-P managing editors Peter Kovacs and Dan Shea as editor and
general manager, and there was word thatThe Advocate‘s Baronne
Street offices were adding several additional parking spaces
immediately. It was a poorly kept secret that the paper had been talking
toT-P city editor Gordon Russell, and only a slightly better kept secret thatThe Advocate was also interested in Martha Carr, a veteran of the city desk known as a meticulous editor.

“If Gordon and Martha go,” a city reporter toldGambit Saturday night, “weall go.”

And that’s what seems to be happening. This morning Kovacs announced that Russell would be joining the New OrleansAdvocate (not the New Orleans bureau ofThe Advocate, but “theNew Orleans Advocate“, a change in terminology). Also leaving theT-P: city reporters Claire Galofaro and Andrew Vanacore. (FormerT-P
staffer Sara Pagones, who had been helming the New Orleans bureau since
it launched last fall, will now be St. Tammany bureau chief.) Russell
becomesThe Advocate‘s managing editor for investigations, while Carr will be the New Orleans paper’s managing editor.

Another term for this could be, “dying the death of a thousand cuts.” There’s a simple word for what Advance Media did here in NOLA: stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

A quick word about now former city editor Gordon Russell. He’s not only an outstanding investigative journalist and editor, he’s also a friend who lives a long stones throw from Adrastos World Headquarters. I am very happy that he’s getting off the sinking ship before it hits bottom.

So much forTPStreet, which sounds like a bad cop show from the Freddie Silverman era at ABC.

The newspaper war is turning into a rout.

6 thoughts on “Slow motion suicide

  1. Amazing. Just amazing. I thought the TP’s dumb move was the worst since Netflix tried to go all streaming…but that’s not fair to Netflix. The Pic literally destroyed their own brand, and a perpetually mediocre paper is poised to blow it out of the water.
    Wow.
    If they were investment bankers, they’d demand an even bigger annual bonus…

  2. I feel sorry for the skeleton of a staff left at TPStreet. The success of Advocate’s NO edition reminds me of teenagers Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland when they said, “Let’s put on a show,” and it turned out to be a Broadway musical. Really, who would ever have expected…? More Schadenfreude here.

  3. I’ve been sticking it out with my subscription to the T-P up until now. James Gill is still fantastic. The Advocate’s Op-Ed page would be more informative if it were a blank page.
    Now, I’ll probably switch to the Advocate when it’s time to renew.

  4. I mourn the loss of the T-P. I had a home-delivery subscription in Bay St. Louis for years until Katrina destroyed the Mississippi Gulf Coast; then that all went away. It was absolutely the best newspaper in the region. It wasn’t dumbed down like the rag known as the Biloxi Sun Herald and the staff writers were fantastic. When I was a paper carrier in late 1970s Jackson, Mississippi I noted there were many T-P subscribers on my route. A once-great paper, now relegated to the ash heap. I still miss it greatly.

  5. I mourn the loss, too, but when we dropped our subscription last year, the paper had already become a shell of itself after half the staff was fired. I read the TP my whole long life, from when I was a child and started with the Sunday funnies.

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