NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Times-Picayune, one of the nation's oldest newspapers, is dropping its daily circulation after 175 years and plans to issue three printed editions a week starting in the fall. With the change, the newspaper would become the largest metro newspaper in the nation to drop daily circulation in this digital age.
The paper announced Thursday the formation of a new company, the NOLA Media Group, to oversee both The Times-Picayune and its affiliated website, NOLA.com.
The cutback in publication days follows similar moves made by other newspapers as the industry has struggled through economic tough times, in part caused by consumers' move to online media.
The Times-Picayune is owned by Advance Publications Inc., a Newhouse family company whose various divisions have holdings in newspapers, magazines, cable television and websites. In 2009, the Advance-owned Ann Arbor News in Michigan ceased print publication and moved to an online-only format.
Advance also said Thursday that three major daily newspapers that it owns in Alabama will switch to publishing three days a week as part of a new focus on online news: The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the Press-Register of Mobile.
Advance also owns The Oregonian in Portland, Ore.; The Plain Dealer in Cleveland; and The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.
Steve Myers, a managing editor at the Poynter Institute, said the Times-Picayune would become the largest metropolitan newspaper to shift away from daily circulation.
"Advertising is suffering at many newspapers, and the Picayune has had difficulty because the population didn't come back after Katrina," Myers said.
Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, and many residents had to flee flood-ravaged neighborhoods in the aftermath. Many never came back, leaving the city to slowly rebuild in the years since.
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