NEW ORLEANS, May 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- New Orleans Advocate owners John and Dathel Georges have purchased The Times-Picayune and its nola.com website from Advance Local, which is owned by Advance Local Media, LLC.
The Advocate will publish a seven-day, home-delivered newspaper in New Orleans using the brands and features of both publications. The new paper will debut in June. The two papers' websites will be merged under the nola.com brand around the same time.
While The Times-Picayune was not for sale, the Georges and Advance Local agreed after recent discussions that this transaction presented the best course to preserve the quality of journalism that both news organizations are known for, and better serve the New Orleans community now and in the future.
"New Orleans has never lost its love for a daily newspaper," John Georges said. "I want to thank Advance Local for working with us to ensure a strong print and online news company for years to come."
The Georges purchased Capital City Press, The Advocate's parent, in 2013 and invested heavily in people and facilities, including renovating a dilapidated historic building at 840 St. Charles Ave. to serve as The New Orleans Advocate's headquarters. The Advocate recently won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, the first in its history.
"Advance Local is very reluctant to leave New Orleans, our talented employees and loyal readers and advertisers," said Randy Siegel, CEO of Advance Local. "But we are confident that The Advocate will continue our history of excellent local journalism and community service."
The Advocate will be expanding its New Orleans news, advertising and circulation staff by hiring from current nola.com and Times-Picayune employees and will increase its coverage of suburban communities, sports and arts and entertainment.
Capital City Press also publishes The Advocate in Baton Rouge and the Acadiana Advocate in Lafayette. It was already the state's largest newspaper and its website, combined with nola.com, will reach more than 8 million viewers per month across the country. The new paper will be printed in Louisiana at The Advocate's state of the art printing press.
Both Capital City Press and Advance Local are privately held. A purchase price was not disclosed.
Current subscribers and advertisers of The Times-Picayune will be contacted in the coming weeks while the staffs of both papers work towards a seamless transition. Subscribers who get both papers will have their subscriptions to The Advocate extended.
Advance Local publishes newspapers and operates websites in more than 20 cities across the country. "We are firmly committed to our existing businesses and have no interest in selling any other Advance Local companies," says Siegel. "We will continue to invest in new initiatives and other areas of strategic importance."
The Times-Picayune emerged in the 1990s as a powerful example of metro journalism, reaching more households in its market than any other large paper in the country. It won numerous journalism awards, including four Pulitzer Prizes with two of those for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina. During that era, with hundreds of thousands of south Louisianans displaced, nola.com emerged as a powerful online presence.
The New Orleans Advocate is staffed mainly by Times-Picayune veterans, including those who worked at The Times-Picayune during Katrina. The Advocate as a whole employs more than 110 journalists, a number that dwarfs the size of newsrooms at much larger papers.
Randy Siegel, Advance Local, 212.286.7054, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Shea, The Advocate, 504.352.5090, email@example.com
John Georges, The Advocate, 504.415.6616, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE The Advocate