Times-Picayune, nola.com bought by Advocate’s Dathel and John Georges to ensure ‘strong’ news company
Advocate Staff reports 5.2.2019 – New Orleans Advocate owners Dathel and John Georges have purchased The Times-Picayune and its nola.comwebsite from the Newhouse family’s Advance Local Media.
The Advocate will publish a seven-day, home-delivered newspaper in New Orleans using the brands and features of both publications. The new paper will debut in June. The two papers’ websites will be combined under the nola.combrand around the same time.
In Baton Rouge, the paper will remain The Advocate, as will the website. Baton Rouge readers will be unaffected.
At a time when local media companies are struggling and have cut back on news content, New Orleans has been an outlier, with the 177-year-old Advocate and the 182-year-old Picayune both covering the community for the past seven years.
“New Orleans has never lost its love for a daily newspaper,” John Georges said. “I want to thank Advance for working with us to ensure a strong print and online news company for years to come.”
The Advocate will be expanding its New Orleans news, advertising and circulation staff by hiring from current nola.com and Times-Picayune employees, and will increase its coverage of suburban communities, sports, and arts and entertainment, and also improve its opinion pages.
It will also add more contract carriers to handle the increase in subscribers. The paper will be printed at The Advocate’s state-of-the-art printing plant in Baton Rouge. The New Orleans Advocate is headquartered at a renovated historic building at 840 St. Charles Ave., and the joint publication will be operated out of that office.
Both Advance and Georges Media are privately held, and the sale price and terms were not disclosed.
“Advance Local is very reluctant to leave New Orleans, our loyal readers and our talented employees,” said Randy Siegel, CEO of Advance Local. “But we are confident that The Advocate will continue our history of excellent local journalism and community service now and in the future.”
The move was supported by Ashton Phelps Jr., publisher of The Times-Picayune for three decades, who retired in 2012.
“The Times-Picayune and The Advocate have played key roles in Louisiana history. The Pulitzer Prize Board, which gives the highest awards in journalism, has recognized both newspapers,” he said. “Both Newhouse and Georges family members have told me they want the best journalism possible for the New Orleans area. This change, supported by both families, will hopefully give the best chance for that in the long term. I wish my personal very best to my former colleagues at both The Times-Picayune and The Advocate.”