Times Picayune in a Pickle

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by Monica Hebert

The newspaper of New Orleans, The Times-Picayune, recently announced it is going to stop daily publication as of October 1, 2012.  This would make New Orleans the largest U.S. city without a daily newspaper – it will now be published on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.  The Times Picayune took a major hit after Hurricane Katrina, going from a distribution of 285,000 on Sundays before Katrina to 155,000 post-Katrina.

The paper is informing its readers that there will still be daily news reported, but only on its website www.nola.com.  With a 175-year history, The Times-Picayune is a longstanding tradition, leaving the community and advertisers in shock. These loyalists have shown their support through telephone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook.

Is this the future – where print no longer exists?  It seems that a lot of print publications are changing with the times. The Daily Advertiser now charges for the privilege of reading their paper online, while other papers are doing exactly what The Picayune is doing.  What does it mean to change with the times?  Total abandonment of your core business?  Only time will tell if these newspapers across the country are headed in the right direction or if their decisions were too drastic at this time.  Tell me what you think and prefer – a real paper where you can turn actual pages or a computer screen?

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