Screw You, Times-Picayune Subscriber!

It comes to this for the “can’t get its act together digitally OR dead-tree-wise” New Orleans Times-Picayune. Something – perhaps a prodigious drop in subscriptions? – has compelled the management of the T-P to make this move:

After slashing its newspaper printing to three days a week in late 2012, the Times-Picayune is beefing up its printing, according to a post the paper’s website Nola.com.

Part of the new printing plan is a new publication, TPStreet, a three-day a week paper “focusing on breaking news, sports and entertainment,” which “will appear in a tab-size format, publishing on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Jim Amoss, editor for the Times-Picayune, in the Nola.com article.

TPStreet will cost 75 cents and only be available for street sale in the metro area, as opposed to home delivery. The paper will continue to only offer home delivery on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Further details on this latest development say that the subscribers will get an e-edition of TPStreet rather than having the paper delivered to their door – which means Newhouse Publications/NOLA Media Group still only has to pay door-to-door delivery people for 3 days/week deliveries. From NOLA Media’s end, it’s giving the people what they want and only paper cutting themselves a little in the process. (Well, not everything T-P readers want. There’s still no Saturday edition…)

From the still-hanging-on-by-their-ink-stained-fingers subscribers, though? This is still a big “screw you.” The NOLA.com website is still no paragon of navigation. It remains to be seen how prominently the TPStreet e-edition will be featured on the NOLA.com page, or how easy it will be to find the news on it. And nothing has been done about the cesspools that are the NOLA.com comment sections.

If this is NOLA Media Group responding to the public and to pressure from the competition The Advocate has presented, I’d say they need to go back to the presses. This is not a move that inspires confidence in the robustness of their product – in fact, it smacks of desperation. And a huge middle finger pointed in the direction of the people who willingly give them funding for an inferior product.

It’s sad, and it’s no better than Scott Thompson of The Kids In The Hall in the above sketch declaring he wants the right to masturbate in public. Enough of this dicking us around, T-P.

Update, 9:59 PM: Seems that millionaire and wannabe Louisiana politician John Georges has finally bought The Advocate and has installed two former T-P editors as key staffers. Is it merely coincidental that NOLA Media Group announces TPStreet on the same day as this development is made public? All I know is that New Orleans’ newspaper wars are fast headed to 451°…

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NOLA on Video: Rally to save The Times-Picayune

New Orleanians speak out about saving their paper. Big thanks to NOLAFugees for producing this video for those of us who weren’t able to attend the rally.

Get Involved – Save the Picayune

I know how to get to news using technology. But as a New Orleanian I don’t want that to be the primary way I get my daily news. At the end of a work day I want to settle into the my patio or couch with a Sazerac or a glass of ice tea and flip the tangible, not virtual, pages of my daily city newspaper. I want to talk a look at the silly horoscope and see how many stars the day I just lived had and reconcile that with what actually happened. If it’s Friday I want to see what the Lagniappe says is happening in town so I can plan just how ambitious I’ll be in taking part in the many festivities or where I can go to avoid them.

Read more of this lovely essay about what the Times-Picayune means to New Orleanians on NorthWest Carrollton. Then go friend Save the Picayune on FaceBook and follow on Twitter. Get involved.

A Sad Day For New Orleans Culture

Late last night The New York Times reported possible impending lay-offs and a cut back of publication for the Times-Picayune and the story was quickly picked up by The Gambit. (Updated story here.) Tweeting was fast and furious this morning as the news spread quickly including the reactions of T-P employees who reportedly learned about the changes on the social site and other online venues. An announcement to the staff was circulated this morning and can be read on The Gambit.

It’s a sad day for many New Orleanians who have faithfully read the 175 year old paper daily, including myself. I’ve been a bit of a collector of T-P issues that have documented historical events including the last issue before Hurricane Katrina hit.

American Scrapbook has posted a wonderful piece about the history of the Times-Picayune – it’s well worth a read.

The Times, they are a-changin’.