NEW ORLEANS – The Advocate made another major play to take control of the newspaper market in the city, poaching veteran and Pulitizer Prize-winning reporters and editors from the Times-Picayune in the latest saga of a newspaper war.
Gordon Russell, Martha Carr, Sara Pagones, Andrew Vanacore and Claire Galofaro are the latest from the NOLA.com staff to defect from the Times-Picayune and join The Advocate.
For Hurricane Katrina coverage, Russell, Carr and Pagones were part of a team that won two Pultizer Prize awards for storm coverage, according to The Advocate.
The news comes on the heels of businessman John Georges purchasing the newspaper last week. Georges has vowed to compete for the New Orleans newspaper market.
Carr, who was with the Times-Picayune since 1997, will serve as the managing editor for New Orleans. Gordon Russell will serve as the managing editor for investigations. Sara Pagones will be the bureau chief for St. Tammany Parish. Also joining The Advocate are T-P reporters Andrew Vanacore and Claire Galaforo, according to The Advocate.
Pagones ran “the Advocate’s bureau in New Orleans over the summer. With a small staff, she grew the newspaper’s circulation to about 20,000 copies a day, twice what the Advocate expected when it launched its New Orleans edition in October,” read the article from The Advocate announcing the moves.
The Advocate began a push to gain a foothold in the New Orleans market by providing a daily newspaper after the Times-Picayune announced a movement to scale back publishing to three days a week.
The Times-Picayune later beefed up its printing schedule as news became official John Georges was buying The Advocate from the Manship family. Georges quickly hired longtime T-P journalists, naming Dan Shea as general manager and Peter Kovacs as editor.