Times-Picayune Editor Jim Amoss Discusses The Launch Of TPStreet

May 1, 2013

The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com have announced that the company will once again publish a physical paper seven days a week.

But it won’t be the full newspaper. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays readers will find a shorter, tabloid sized publication at newsstands — instead of the empty space they see now. It will not available for home delivery. WWNO’s Paul Maassen sat down with Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss to talk about the new product.

“The publication is called TPStreet, and it is going to be produced by the same staff that produces the Times-Picayune,” says Amoss. “It’s going to appear on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it will only be available as a street sale publication, focusing heavily on breaking news, and breaking sports and entertainment news as well.”

Amoss says this combination of home delivery on Sundays and street sales only on other days, which are traditionally not high circulation or heavily supported by advertising, is the one they think will work long term.

“This will be a much more compact newspaper experience, but still a newspaper, a printed newspaper experience, where you have this feeling of reading something from front to back,” he says.

“Our compass on everything we’ve done since we began our new company is: What can we do to serve our readers in this area best, and what can we do at the same time that is sustainable over the long term?” Amoss says it is a marathon, and they are at the very beginning of it. "I’m sure that there will be some other ways that we’ll dream up that will serve this market.”

Amoss says NOLA Media Group produces far more content in their digitally-focused company than they are able to fit into any newspaper, however big it is, so there’s no lack of material.

“The relationship between all of our printed products now and the website is that our journalists produce for the website, and everything that appears in the printed product also appears on the website, and additional things as well appear on the website,” he said. “So, there’s really a flow of content that our print team selects from and decides this is what our readers of print publications would like to see, and puts them together, packages them, curates them, so to speak, and presents them in printed form.”

So, why now?

“Like everybody else in the newspaper business, we’re trying to figure out the path forward,” he said. “And we, just like everyone else in the newspaper business, don’t know all the answers. We didn’t know them last fall when we started off. We still don’t know them. But we think we have pretty good news instincts and that we are good listeners to what our readers tell us.”

Amoss says a significant segment of their readers has been telling them they like the printed publication and want some access to it in printed form.

The NOLA Media Group is aiming to launch TPStreet in early summer, according to Amoss. He says that timeline gives them another couple of months to shape the new editions and flesh them out, and also to listen to what readers are telling them about how they would like it to be composed.