The Demise of the T-P

I don’t need to get into the value of The Times-Picayune to this city. It’s been clear for generations. It likely has never been through a finer period than the past six years. Whether it was chronicling the aftermath of Katrina (Pulitzer-winning coverage), the Gulf Oil Spill or the Saints’ run to the Super Bowl , it was always there. Consistently. Reliably.

But starting in the fall, the print version of the paper will only be there on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. No Monday-morning-after-a-Saints-game robust sports section. That’s upsetting. And the Twitter tweeps are pretty steamed, too.

Sure, I can read the stories on my computer, iPhone or iPad, but the redesign is awful and many stories are impossible to find. Technology is nice, but there’s still something I like about holding newspaper pages between my fingers. I’ll still be able to do it of course, but four fewer times per week. That seems so un-New Orleans.

One of the highlights of my day at Brother Martin High School was securing a good reading chair in the library (one next to the end table) and reading the T-P sports section during lunch. Sometimes people stuffed it into their backpacks and walked off. Jerks.

When I was in college at Southern Miss, I would get up early on Sunday mornings and drive to Books-A-Million because they carried the Sunday paper. If, God forbid, they didn’t have it for some reason (and that happened occasionally), I’d have to buy the Hattiesburg paper. Or the Jackson paper. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t the T-P.

I grew up on Academy Drive in Metairie and always knew exactly where the paper would be when I woke up — on the chair in the kitchen under the wall-mounted phone.

Consistently. Reliably.

The New York Times first reported the story Tuesday night, dropping the bomb before midnight. That’s how many of the paper’s employees found out. That’s not cool.

What’s happening at The Times-Picayune seems to be inevitable in the print business as digital’s footprint gets larger and larger. But it’s still sad. And disappointing. A New Orleans institution is crumbling before our eyes.

Some changes are easier to deal with than others. This one sucks.


  1. Michael Green says:

    Agreed! Well written! The Krewe of TIX, K&B, The Great MacNutt, The Beach, The States Item and now the TP!

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