The Sometimes Picayune

Harry Shearer:

So: a city of tightly knit neighborhoods, of varying classes, with mainly local retail. Yet, the model for Advance Publication’s demotion of the New Orleans Times-Picayune metro daily into the Neverland of thrice-weekly print publication—gee, what day is it? Is there a paper today?—was based on, wait for it, a college town in Michigan. Ann Arbor, to be exact. And this plan is being applied to three papers in Alabama, as well—the Press-Register in Mobile; The Huntsville Times; The Birmingham News. All quite similar to New Orleans, of course. This is the kind of cookie-cutter decision-making that gives absentee ownership a bad name.

The Times-Picayune is not Starbucks or Rite-Aid or Winn-Dixie sitting on the sidelines waiting for the recovery. It is the paper people in New Orleans love, or love to hate.

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