Common sense is difficult to define. In business, people with unique and quirky ideas can run into a lot of negativity based on "common sense." Like the guys who decided that, at a time when newspapers are going under all over the country, they're going to launch a brand new daily newspaper in New Orleans. Crazy, right?
That newspaper is The Advocate. Its editor, Peter Kovacs, who was canned by the Times-Picayune in its business realignment to a 3-day-a-week paper, is Peter's guest on this episode of Out to Lunch.
The New York Times' new executive editor, Dean Baquet, took over just two weeks ago, yet he appears perfectly comfortable in his perch atop the worlds of journalism and New York. He smokes fine cigars to relax, wears elegant loafers and excuses his decision to keep his suit coat on during our conversation by saying that's just who he is.
But Baquet's identity is wrapped up in a city and a different reality more than 1,000 miles away.
New Orleans native Dean Baquet has been named executive editor of The New York Times. He is replacing Jill Abramson, who has been in the position for two and a half years.
The company didn't give a reason for the change.
Baquet, who received a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1988, has worked for the Times for seven years. He would be the first African-American to hold the newspaper's highest editorial position.
Baquet began his newspaper career in New Orleans at the The States-Item and later worked for the The Times-Picayune.
The Baton Rouge paper had been nursing its 1950s era letterpresses for years when it finally had to bite the bullet and invest in a new production facility. The speedy offset press came online in 2006, just as the country headed into a recession and the newspaper industry was tanking.
So when John Georges closed the deal to buy The Advocate in May, it came with one of the newest printing presses in the country.
R.T. Scott talks with John Georges, the new publisher of The Advocate which is producing an edition to compete with the Times-Pic in New Orleans, and Rolfe McCollister, publisher of the Baton Rouge Business report, about what the changes mean for readers in Baton Rouge.
Audio will be available by approximately 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 11.
A year ago today, news leaked that The Times-Picayune would cease daily publication, cut staff and focus on its website, NOLA.com. The paper and ink edition now hits doorsteps and newsstands just three days a week: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
History and tradition play an outsized role in New Orleans. So perhaps it is no surprise that The Times-Picayune’s move has led to a modern-day version of a relic of media history: the newspaper war.