The Advocate overwhelmed with subscribers, leaving some waiting on papers

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wwltv.com

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 5 at 5:41 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS - The new newspaper in New Orleans became a victim of its own success this week.

The Advocate is hoping to fill the void left by the Times-Picayune now that it's no longer a daily newspaper.

But, the Baton Rouge-based daily, now publishing a New Orleans edition, had delivery and call center problems which disappointed subscribers looking to satisfy their morning newspaper fix.

"The Picayune ended on the 30th and come the 1st I'm looking all over for a paper and I can't find it," said Gerald Gaudin of Metairie.

Gaudin isn't the only one missing his newspaper.

Like many of his neighbors, he signed up for a subscription to the The Advocate and has yet to receive his first paper.

"I figure that what happened was in their speed to get up, they forgot to hire carriers," said Gaudin.

Loretta Hamilton also from Metairie had delivery problems as well.

"I was supposed to start receiving the paper October 1," said Hamilton. "October 1, no paper. October 2, no paper. October 3, no paper."

Hamilton says The Advocate finally arrived on her doorstep on October 4.

"I really think they weren't prepared for the amount of subscribers that they got," said Hamilton. The Advocate's New Orleans bureau chief Sara Pagones says demand for the paper has been overwhelming.

"We've doubled our call center capacity," said Pagones. "I think the waits are shorter than they were. I think that we had really felt we could get 10,000 subscribers. I don't think we anticipated getting 10,000 by today, which we have."

Subscribers say The Advocate has a small window of opportunity to get in right in New Orleans.

"I think people are going to get used to not having a daily paper unless they step in right away and start delivering it," said Mary Moses who lives in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. "On Monday, I was sort of suffering withdrawal from not having a paper to read in the morning. But, if it takes weeks by then I'll just be getting my news somewhere else."

Pagones is asking subscribers to be patient as the paper resolves delivery and other problems. "We know there are still some kinks to be worked out. We did this in six weeks time. I don't know if a paper has ever had this many new starts at once."

Gaudin would like the issue resolved by Monday.

"Advocate, put on more people and start delivering the paper," he said. "We need it. We want it."

According to The Advocate, the paper is averaging 1,000 new subscribers per day in the New Orleans area.

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