Here we are winding down the last few days of the Times Picayune as a stand alone media outlet and the post I’ve avoided writing since the news broke.
I’m going to miss the story comment section at NOLA.com as there was a critical mass of commenters that often added to the story, sometimes too much. I’m going to miss Tim Morris’ punditry and Drew Broach’s musings on Jefferson Parish politics. For local power news consumers there will be lots to miss.
I remember Mark Lorando as the T.V. beat writer back in the late 1980s writing glowing reviews about Max Headroom and after watching wondering what the heck Lorando saw in the show. Today he is the outgoing editor of NOLA.com and he summed up what everyone will be missing in just a few days:
“Here’s the great irony of our decision to reduce home delivery to three days and focus on digital: The end result was more and better journalism for New Orleans, not less,” Lorando wrote. “I’m proud of the groundbreaking work this newsroom has produced, and respect The Advocate’s. This was a never a newspaper war. It’s a war to preserve local journalism in New Orleans. It’s just heartbreaking to see so many having to leave New Orleans, or leave journalism altogether in the end.”
Advocate Owner John Georges is not as visionary as it may seem today though you gotta give the man props for the plan execution. Consolidation or transformation are the only viable strategies in industries that are in secular decline but in journalism that carries a price too. Soon enough everyone will get to see what’s in store on the other side of the transaction including whether Georges’ investment objective toward his properties change, now that he has the print monopoly in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
As always we’ll be watching to see how that story unfolds.