Thanks for the memories….

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.

Monday Morning Wood: Demand declines in Newspaper Industry to impact local pulpwood mills

Last week on TP chop shop day I was in Jackson satisfying my annual continuing education requirements. The banter in the room included a collegue from the Starkpatch area bemoaning the fact demand declines for newsprint was hurting a local pulpwood mill and how the pain was certain to get worse with the “Alabama newspapers” cutting back to three days a week.

To the extent rural Mississippi depends on the timber and wood products for well paying jobs, that which has happened in NOLA, Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville is being monitored by what at first glance are unlikely observers.

So for those so interested in an industry that tanked like the print media after the housing bubble broke, check out the Forest 2 Market blog. The bottom line is the structural changes in the media are also bringing change to other places.

sop