Media games begin: Baton Rouge Advocate, New Orleans Times-Picayune Slugfest

media-gamesLet the whistle blow and those media games begin.




The New Orleans Times Picayune (NOLA.com) announced today that it would be publishing a Baton Rouge edition (print) and a special web edition for those interested in Baton Rouge news.

The Baton Rouge Advocate who has already publicized that it would be publishing a New Orleans edition of its papers and who now are seeking subscribers in the New Orleans area will be making itself felt in New Orleans, as early as Monday.

According to a press release:


"The Advocate New Orleans Edition will officially launch its efforts to provide a daily newspaper to the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area during a special news conference. Officials with the new daily newspaper will announce the location of its New Orleans bureau and its eight-member staff. Local and vocal members of the New Orleans region will stand in support of the newspaper and its commitment to delivering daily printed news to the area. Beginning October 1, The Advocate New Orleans Edition will be the only printed local daily newspaper for area readers. With a tradition dating to 1909, The Advocate has worked hard to provide valuable content and news to the state of Louisiana and plans to continue delivering quality journalism to the great city of New Orleans. Reports that New Orleans would be the largest American city without a daily newspaper have received national attention including an upcoming segment on 60 Minutes...

Participating at the press conference will be Publisher, David Manship, The Advocate, Executive Editor, Carl Redman, The Advocate, Bureau Chief, Sara Pagones, The Advocate New Orleans Edition, The Advocate New Orleans Edition bureau employees and community Leaders who support a daily newspaper in New Orleans".



The special announcement will be held at Rock N Bowl for 10:30 am, Monday September 24.

Also today in this growing media battle of print and cyber came the shocker:

In an article today, the Times Picayune announced,



“Baton Rouge will have a new source for digital and print news this fall as NOLA Media Group will open a new bureau in downtown Baton Rouge, the company announced Thursday. With this move, NOLA Media Group seeks to expand and improve news, sports and entertainment coverage in the Baton Rouge area. 


A customized Baton Rouge version of the NOLA.com website and a Baton Rouge edition of The Times-Picayune, as well as targeted home delivery in the Baton Rouge metro area will be in place by the end of the year, said Ricky Mathews, NOLA Media Group president. The company will also make available for purchase in Baton Rouge the new "Black and Gold Extra" publication to be printed after Saints games on days The Times-Picayune doesn't publish a print edition. The Black and Gold Extra launches Oct. 1 with complete coverage of the Saints game against the Green Bay Packers and other NFL coverage."


 So, how is this playing in the local community?  Are we now seeing a Tulane-LSU type competitive rivalry emerging in media-land South Louisiana?


Here's the take of one observer and community activist, publicist Cheron Brylski, who on Thursday evening posted online



“Wasn't Ricky Mathews just quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying that the paper was in fact in dire straits (contradicting the earlier story that the changes were coming from a position of strength)? So the paper that found it financially unsustainable to publish a paper seven days a week now finds it financially feasible to publish a Baton Rouge edition of the paper and open an office there.”                      


Now, for some of the "big questions" to digest as we watch from the sidelines:

Will Baton Rouge and New Orleans be able to support two paper publications, even if the upcoming Times Picayune-Baton Rouge edition is not a daily?

Will Baton Rouge embrace the "Pic" since some in New Orleans are upset with that paper due to the recent change into an "thrice-weekly"?

Which business leaders and advertisers, in either city, will cross-over to the other side of the field (or the city-paper up or down the Mississippi River) ?

How will this razzle-dazzle play impact other paper and media offerings as the market appears to almost simulatemously expand and convulse, mindlessly?

My half-buck (the cost of the paper) says we will begin to see many player substitutions, free-agent jumpings and even expansions/mergers before anyone can fairly answer one of the above questions.  In the meantime, someone pass me the game program.  It's getting darn hard to tell the players by their numbers. 

Tyler Bridges

Entering this ever-evolving media fray comes Tyler Bridges, the former Times Picayune news reporter who among other topics covered the travails of former Klansman and "disgused" Nazi-sympathizer, David Duke. when the Dukester ran for a medley of elective offices, including for U.S. President.  Bridges will now be writing for the Lens, a New Orleans-based web publication. 

According to the Lens,  


“Bridges will become a staff writer with The Lens on Oct. 1, focusing on state-level public-policy decisions that affect the New Orleans area.

Bridges is returning to New Orleans after a 16-year hiatus that took him from The Times-Picayune to The Miami Herald, where he was part of two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting teams. After covering politics in Tallahassee and Miami, he served as a foreign correspondent in South America.

Bridges spent the past year at Harvard University on a prestigious Nieman Fellowship, studying coverage of politics and government in digital media.

From 1989 to 1996, Bridges reported for The Times-Picayune on the political career of David Duke, covered the 1991 Duke-Edwin Edwards gubernatorial race – which gave rise to the “Vote for the Crook” slogan – and chronicled the advent of legalized gambling in Louisiana through a series of investigative reports.

From those reports, he authored two books, “The Rise of David Duke” and “Bad Bet on the Bayou: The Rise of Gambling in Louisiana and the Fall of Edwin Edwards.”

Bridges is a terrific writer who became a daily-read for many of us during one of the most tumulterous and angry periods in recent Louisiana history.

Welcome home, Tyler. 

Rising Tide

 The Rising Tide conference is this Saturday, September 22 at Xavier University  The conference includes a full day of programming and will tackle issues ranging from the changing media landscape, to the commodification of New Orleans culture, to the health of our coast. A second programming track will highlight local entrepreneurial success stories and parenting challenges in New Orleans. Featured speakers include author Lawrence Powell and writer Lolis Eric Elie. Consult the Rising Tide web site for the complete schedule.

Heading up the Rising Tide conference is Mark Mosely, who is a column writer for The Lens and who publishes the blog, yourrighthandthief.com.

The growth of the Rising Tide Conference marks the powerful rise of the blogosphere in this area, especially after Hurricane Katrina.

Goodbye to Times Picayune Stars

You will want to say goodbye and thanks to many of the stars of the Times Picayune who will no longer be writing for that publication due to the cutbacks announced by the paper when it announced it would publish three-days-per-week.   

Here’s how you can do it.

Attend the fundraiser “Black, White and Red All Over” being held on  Saturday, September 29, 2012 (final Saturday of daily publication of the newspaper)


(final Saturday of daily publication of the newspaper)

6-9 PM
The Howlin’ Wolf, 907 South Peters St.

Food by: a ManoCafe AtchafalayaGalatoire’sRalph’s on the Park, Rio Mar SeafoodLiberty’s KitchenMartin Wine Cellar Catering and Whole Foods Market Arabella Station

Music by: David Torkanowsky All-Stars and special guests Camile BaudoinMatt LemmlerCharmaine Neville BandThe Pfister SistersMartin Krusche and John Rankin


“T-P7 Talent & Treasures” auction

featuring experiences and items donated by

Anderson CooperThe Ellen ShowSoledad O’Brien, Cokie Roberts, “ABC This Week,” “Meet the Press,” Walter Isaacson – along with dozens of current and formerTimes-Picayune artists and photographers and New Orleans businesses

Admission: $30 per person

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