DuBos: The day the local daily newspaper died

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 12, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 13 at 10:50 AM

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Policital Analyst - Gambit Columnist

NEW ORLEANS - Today is a sad day in New Orleans. Today our city, which has endured so much, saw another piece of its heritage ripped apart.

Today, scores of veteran reporters at The Times-Picayune were laid off because the paper’s New Jersey owners have decided to cease publishing as a daily newspaper.

Let me disclose that, as co-owner of Gambit, I compete with The Times-Picayune. But as a journalist, I got my start there 39 years ago. I have many happy memories there — and quite a few close friends as well.

Even as a competitor I love my daily paper. It’s part of the cultural fabric of New Orleans. And it’s one of America’s better newspapers. So it’s tragic that Steven Newhouse, the third-generation owner of the company that owns the T-P, has decided that New Orleans doesn’t deserve a daily.

He’s wrong, of course. But it’s his company, and he can do what he wants with it — including lay off iconic writers like Pete Finney and ignore the pleas of civic and business leaders to reconsider.

It would be one thing if New Orleans were the 101st major city to lose its daily newspaper, or even the 51st. If that were the case, it would hardly be news. But because we’re the very 1st, it sends all the wrong signals.

So, even though I doubt he’ll hear me, or care, I’d like to add my voice to those all over town who are collectively paraphrasing the immortal words of Ronald Reagan: Mr. Newhouse, DON’T tear down this newspaper!

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