'New Orleans Picayune' Drops Daily Print Schedule
The New Orleans Times-Picayune is ceasing daily publication and moving to a new print schedule of three days a week, according to Advance Publications. Advance is also slashing the publication schedule for three Alabama newspapers: The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, and The Mobile Press-Register.
While a number of big metro dailies have closed, and other papers have dropped Saturday delivery, this marks the first time that a major American newspaper has opted to reduce its publishing schedule quite so drastically. Going forward, the Times-Picayune, previously published seven days a week, will only appear on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
The newspaper will continue to publish daily online.
Like other newspapers in the area, the Times-Picayune has suffered from the combined effects of the secular downturn in the newspaper business, due to the migration of readers to the Web and collapsing demand for print advertising, as well as the loss of population resulting from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
The total population of New Orleans dropped from about 437,000 before the storm in July 2005 to 158,000 in January 2006, before slowly rebounding to about 358,000 in 2011 -- down 18% from pre-Katrina levels.
Ken Doctor, a newspaper analyst and author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get, warned that the reduction could mean the loss of as many as 50 newsroom jobs. That would leave about 100 newsroom staff -- down from 265 before Katrina.
One of America’s oldest newspapers, the original New Orleans Daily Picayune was established in 1837 to serve the burgeoning English-speaking population of New Orleans -- the first English-language publication in the former French colony. It was published continuously throughout the Civil War except for one two-month period, and its archives provide historians with insights into the changing Deep South from the 19th and 20th centuries.