Oct 14, 201309:08 AM
The Editor's Room
Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde
The Times-Picayune Fiasco: Newhouses Treat Cleveland, Portland Better Than New Orleans
Maybe the Newhouses think that we’re under some sort of Pagan calendar down here and we don’t have Saturdays; or maybe they think that we get so drunk with Sazeracs and Abitas on Friday nights that we’re not sober enough to read a newspaper on Saturday morning. Whatever the reason, we are denied a Saturday home edition T-P while two other Newhouse-owned big city newspapers, Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, and the Portland-based Oregonian still publish seven times a week, like a real daily newspaper, though there is now no home delivery on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Meaning, of course, that there is home delivery on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
By contrast, The Times-Picayune just publishes for home delivery on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with no Saturday paper.
One wonders why Portland and Cleveland, even after recent staff cuts, are worthy of Saturday home delivery, plus full papers every other day of the week, while New Orleans is not. In fact Saturday is a huge news day here, most likely more so than in those other towns. Local elections are held on Saturdays; federal indictments frequently come down on Fridays – fodder for Saturday newspapers. There are Friday night prep scores and huge football weekends just as in those other towns. We just have more passion for the games. Portland does not even have an NFL team whose Sunday game could be anticipated in the Saturday edition.
We know, there’s the web, blah, blah, blah, but if that’s the case we suspect that those towns already have a higher web usage than New Orleans does. Why take the Saturday home delivery from the town that needs it most?
Reading the Saturday morning T-P, with its extended political coverage, was one of my favorite weekend rituals. Now I read the daily Advocate.
Thankfully The Advocate has gotten stronger, largely with former T-P staffers. The Newhouses no longer matter on Saturdays. One day they might not matter at all.
BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s new book, Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013), is due to be released Oct. 31, 2013. It is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
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