While covering the SEC baseball tournament during Ole Miss’ time there, the biggest non-baseball news to run through the Regions Park press box was the report on Thursday that the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper would cut back its publication to three days a week.
The same is true for major Alabama newspapers in Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville.
Such change among newspapers in the “Digital Age” has long been discussed. This is the most definitive action taken by an ownership group to this point, and it will be interesting to watch the reaction.
Former Clarion-Ledger columnist Rick Cleveland on Twitter Friday described the news as “sad, sad, sad for those of us who love newspapers.”
Whether the Times-Picayune will print a Monday newspaper remains unclear. It’s hard to imagine New Orleans not have a paper the day after a Saints game. Kind of makes the framed copy of the Picayune’s front page from the day after the Saints’ Super Bowl victory take on a new meaning. I had a Picayune friend save a copy for me, and it’s on the wall in my home office.
The question now will be what similar type decisions will be made by other ownership groups?
I also wonder if the Baton Rouge Advocate won’t increase its Saints print coverage in some way and target areas closer to New Orleans.
This isn’t about shutting down the companies as news-gathering organizations but rather changing how the news is presented.
These affected papers were already strong with online coverage, and that will become their primary focus.
There are some things, though, that are hard to duplicate online like the Saturday morning after a high school football Friday night. It’s hard to get the feel of two full pages of stories and photos on your phone.