In Times-Picayune 'Blunder,' Proof Print Isn't Dead

Newspaper acted like 'monopolist,' paved way for new paper: David Carr
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2013 1:25 PM CDT
In Times-Picayune's 'Blunder,' Proof Print Isn't Dead
Prototypes of a three-day-a-week New Orleans Times-Picayune are seen taped to a door in a workroom in their news offices in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

New Orleans' venerable newspaper bet against its print business—and in so doing, shot itself in the foot, writes David Carr in the New York Times. The Times-Picayune infuriated the city when it planned to cut print editions to three days a week; now, it's going to print a paper every day, but under an "endlessly complicated" system that involves two different newspapers and multiple delivery methods. Its bosses made their moves with the "dead-eyed arrogance of a monopolist in a much-changed world," Carr writes, adding that the decisions amount to a "jaw-dropping blunder."

The new, complicated system was a "clearly defensive" effort announced a day before another newspaper, the Advocate, revealed its plans to expand into the New Orleans market. The Advocate's press conference featured Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Orleans' mayor, suggesting "the home team had chosen sides." Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer has announced it will start selling Saturday editions at newsstands for the first time in two years. "This daily newspaper thing may be catching on," Carr notes. Indeed, "that’s where the money and the customers are for the time being." Click for Carr's full column. (More Times-Picayune stories.)

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