Nov 11, 201309:08 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

Note to Newhouses: We’re a Big League Town and Deserve to be Treated Like One

There were two major professional sports victories in New Orleans over the weekend. Neither was covered in the next day's home-delivered edition of The Times-Picayune because such editions did not exist.

On Friday night the Pelicans trounced the Los Angeles Lakers before a sell-out crowd at the arena. It was a great moment as the youngest team in the NBA showed its mettle. It was also Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams' first victory ever over the Lakers.

Then there was last night, when the Saints, before a national Sunday Night Football audience, whacked the Dallas Cowboys. There were lots of story lines: Drew Brees was a passing machine; Mark Ingram, whose season had been a disappointment so far, broke out and had a stellar night. And the Saints defense was a wall, all the more impressive since their Defense Coordinator Rob Ryan had been fired by the Cowboys last year.

Now, while the Newhouses can read about the Knicks and the Giants in The New York Times everyday if they want to, The Times-Picayune does not publish on Saturday* or Monday (not to mention Tuesday and Thursday); Saturday and Monday are key days – after game days. Last night's game was a statistics fest and today would have been a great day for analyzing the numbers just as fans in any other NFL city can do when they peruse their Monday paper. We know, there's the web, but it is just not the same for those big game action pictures and for investigating the stats.

What the Newhouses have done to the city is serious stuff. When a town's largest circulation newspaper does not provide day-after, home-delivered coverage, it could have long range consequences for maintaining fan bases. Away from sports, some event organizers are already complaining about not having a Saturday newspaper for which to promote their weekend activities.

There are some excellent sports reporters working for NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune, they are just getting minimalized into the web. Fortunately there is The New Orleans Advocate, which is home-delivered on the days after big games as well as every other day of the week. Its sports staff is creditable and getting better. Hey Newhouses, if you care about the Pelicans and Saints, you should subscribe.


*CORRECTION: A previous version of this blog post mentioned that The Times-Picayune does not publish on Friday. The Times-Picayune is published and delivered Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We apologize for the confusion.

Reader Comments:
Nov 11, 2013 11:48 am
 Posted by  nolaboy

Mr. Laborde,

I have been reading for many months why the Times-Picayune is missing the boat on so many levels. How they refuse to step up and "do what's right", and how the city deserves better. Just let it go! Good riddance! We finally have a local owner of a daily newspaper (The Advocate) that heard your pleas. So what are we supposed to do when you finally shame the Times-Picayune into returning to a daily newspaper - just drop the Advocate. THEY deserve better than that. Hopefully most of the Times-Picayune writers and staff will jump ship to the Advocate and we can be done with this story. The T.P. had their chance, they blew it, let's get over it and move on.

Nov 11, 2013 12:17 pm
 Posted by  wking54

Errol,
If I remember correctly, the TP reduced the number of published/delivered newspapers to three: Wednesday (which includes the former Thursday's "Picayune" sections), Friday (which combines the former paper's Friday and Saturday issues), and Sunday, with the tabloid TP Street available only on newsstands for .75 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. I agree with you, that it's just not acceptable for the Newhouses to have dropped the Monday issue, which would carry the results of the Sunday night game. Our city's/area's residents don't always have access to (or a desire for) Internet service, and many would rather read about the Saints' win (or loss) in the paper, than squint at it over a tiny computer/IPhone/cellphone screen.

Nov 11, 2013 01:24 pm
 Posted by  BigTom

I'm getting more and more irked by the TP, I had hoped they would see the light. Last month I took a trip to the UK and asked for the paper to be suspended and credited for the gap. So far they have charged me full price. If the rebate does not show up this month, i am switching to the Advocate. I'm also irked that the TP got rid of Laura Ricks as motoring correspondent without a squeak of explanation. They have become a Toilet Paper.

Nov 11, 2013 04:43 pm
 Posted by  jbell

Errol,
I agree with NOLABOY...let the T-P die a lingering death. To hell with them. In stead of continuing to bash them why not sing the praises of the New Orleans Advocate. I have been enjoying this DAILY for months, and it gets better all the time. Most of my friends say they continue the T-P only for the Inside/Outside and Lagnaippe sections of the Friday paper. That's a hell of a reason to put up with the Newhouse's snobbery. I have no doubt the New Orleans Advocate will chase them from New Orleans for good and I really don't care to see them bring back a daily because they want to squeeze money from us at this point. The Newhouses didn't respect its readership's wishes so let's hope they simply fade to white space.

Nov 11, 2013 08:44 pm
 Posted by  fqoabny

Erroll - Can't disagree with anything you say, but instead of putting so much energy in something you have no control over - the Times-Picayune, why don't you concentrate on something you can control, making New Orleans Magazine a belter magazine - like it was many years ago. Now it is bland, history and advertiser oriented. Nothing compelling about it. Instead of trying to tell the Newhouses how to run their business, why don't you run your own business better. New Orleans deserves a better magazine that what you're putting out.

Nov 12, 2013 10:52 am
 Posted by  Errol_Laborde

Errol Laborde replies:
1.We have felt compelled to comment on how the Newhouses run their business because when that business is a daily newspaper, and when it created a monopoly, there is a special obligation of service to the community. Public information is vital in a democracy. This is also the one issue for which the city's major editorial voice, that of The Times-Picayune, has been silenced. Someone has had to speak out. We maintain our respect for the newspaper and its staff, our disappointment is with its owners.

2. We are very proud of New Orleans magazine and its quality. During the past year the magazine won a first place national award in the Column category from the City and Regional Magazine Association. From the New Orleans Press club the magazine won the Ashton Phelps Award for editorial writing as well as a first place for special sections. Its web site also won several awards. In October we had a major insightful feature on the Kennedy connections in New Orleans as well as an exclusive story on Artist George Rodrigue's battle with cancer and an except of a book of The Times-Picayune.. Our November issue has a thoughtful and well researched feature on barbecue. In December we will present best restaurants and, coming soon, is a look at Mardi Gras from a perspective never written about before. We are proud of the magazine's prominence among city magazines nationwide.

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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

about

Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.

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