Planned newsstand tab will return Times-Picayune to limited daily publication in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – Months after cutting its print edition to three days a week, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans on Tuesday announced plans for a three-day-a-week tabloid called TPStreet available in stores and newsstands on days when the full paper isn’t printed.

On the same day as The Times-Picayune’s announcement, its rival The Advocate reported on its website that New Orleans businessman John Georges has completed his purchase of the Baton Rouge-based newspaper and named two former top Times-Picayune news executives to lead it.

Georges said he will serve as publisher and named former Times-Picayune managing editor Dan Shea as general manager and another former Times-Picayune managing editor, Peter Kovacs, as editor. The Advocate’s announcement said current editor Carl Redman would remain in the position of senior editor.

The Times-Picayune’s announcement came on its website, Editor Jim Amoss said the 75-cent tabloid will be published Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning this summer and that the publication won’t be available via home delivery.

Home subscribers will be able to get an electronic replica of TPStreet on the days it is published, in addition to an electronic version of the full Times-Picayune editions published Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays (including an early Sunday edition published Saturday afternoons.)

“It will allow our readers every day to zoom in on content as they browse through the e-edition’s pages on their laptops, tablets and desktop computers,” Amoss wrote.

In June of last year, The Times-Picayune’s owner, privately held Advance Publications Inc., and a new subsidiary, Nola Media Group, announced the paper would lay off 200 employees and shift its focus to the free site. Advance has pursued similar three-times-a-week strategies with several other newspapers in the chain.

The decision met with harsh protests in tradition-bound New Orleans, where readers had a tight bond with the 175-year-old Pulitzer-winning paper, especially after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005.

Georges acquired The Advocate from the Manship family, which has owned the seven-day daily since 1909. The Advocate’s announcement said the closing capped two years of negotiations.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The deal does not include WBRZ-TV, which will continue to be opened by the Manships.

The Advocate expanded its coverage of news in the New Orleans area in 2012, opening a New Orleans bureau and marketing itself as the city’s only daily newspaper after The Times-Picayune cut back to three days of publication a week. Officials of The Advocate say about 20 per cent of its daily circulation of 98,000 copies and Sunday circulation of about 125,000 comes from the New Orleans area