Thursday, May 09, 2013

We could be heroes...if just for one day...

The winds are carrying random whisperings regarding King G's next move in his efforts to create the Van Helsing of Louisiana media entities....a divine "Advocate" that will drive a stake through the vampiric heart of the sanguineous sucking "Newhouse" interloper.

Oh boy...holy hell...that may have been the most pretentious sentence I've ever contrived.

When you recover from that... the rumors abound that Georges is pulling not just Carr and Russell from the Brave Newhouse World but, in fact, the whole talent pool....Rainey, Broach, Torres... and think about this name...wait for it....Gill?  Holy schnizzel, right?
And right now I just want to pause for a moment and express my unabashed man-crush for James Gill.  I think he is the true shcnizzel in New Orleans' whizzel.  I can't think of anyone I'd rather have dinner with or shoot the shitz.   I know I'll never get that opportunity but much love and respect to Mr. Gill.   
I mean Christ on a crutch...what if "His Grace" raids WWL-TV and gets Hammer and McCarthy...even Perlstein?  What if he resurrects Chris Rose?  What if he seduces David Meeks and Brian Thevenot back into the fray?  What if he recreates the post-K journalistic powerhouse that was the pinnacle of the Time-Picayune (as defined by Pulitzer)?

Sweet Buddha...what is this man, if he truly is a man, capable of?

Is he merely a man?  Or is he a Greek demi-god in the lineage of Perseus?  Gorgon Medusa be nasty snake-headed bitch!

I wouldn't be surprised to wake up tomorrow to a press conference with King G and hear him announce....."I am Iron Man."  Philanthropist, billionaire playboy by day...vigilante, terrorist, crime-fighting newspaper publisher

Sorry, I fucked that up.  I've been drinking (it's all alcohol driven fantasy here on AZ ;) ) and I've been dumping a lot of my cash in video poker machines lately...I'm not really up to speed on my pop culture-hero-metaphors.  Forgive me.

Anyway...uh...yeah.  Everyone seems to be nipply and erect.  I admit I'm semi-erect.  But let's not get all hot and bothered lest we end up alone at 3 am with nothing but the internet and

What truly turns me on about this situation is that there is some amazing journalistic talent that will be unbridled, to a certain extent, in this new media landscape.  That's great news....figuratively and literally.  It's going to be a well needed enema for our city and, perhaps, our state.  And King G deserves some kudos for making that happen.  That's a sincere thank you, King really is.

But...what strikes wood with the independent, underfunded, local entities that are slowly and methodically holding the line.  The Lens, the blogs (us...I won't even link but you know us if you're reading this), the independent sites like the Uptown Messenger and Nola Defender....these are things that you should really be excited about...but maybe you aren't.

By the way, did I mention that Bob Marshall is writing for The Lens?  

If you haven't been following The Lens and the other sites I should start immediately.  I said this last year at the Rising Tide panel and I don't mean to sound arrogant but I think I was spot-on-fucking-right when everyone else was going Cassandra.  While everyone was lamenting the demise of the Times-Picayune, I just saw this wonderful palingenesis that was taking place in its wake.  I think, now, if you look at what the N.O. media landscape is's rather amazing.

This city...this wonderful, fucked up city....just celebrated its birthday.  And as dystopian as it is, the one thing it is stagnant.  It never stops moving.  It's a port, it's ancient in regards to American's's...dangerous.  Very dangerous.  But at the same time it's a community.  We do know how to communicate.  I've never been worried about this city's ability to communicate...we do it better than any city in this country.

I think King G's purchase and resurrection of The Advocate is a testament to the....I don't have a word here...I will invent one..."chaosawesomness"....of this city.  I don't like him...but I'm glad he's there and I salute him.






jeffrey said...

I've already said as much but just to repeat it here. I'm glad that Georges is trying make the Advocate into a real paper. I'm glad to see many of the talented people you refer to in this post get out from under the Newhouse thumb. I'm buying an Advocate subscription.

The people at The Lens are all reasonably pleasant. I don't know that I can make a donation there that would make much difference to them but I would encourage people and organizations who can write big checks to them to do that.

But I'm not one to exalt in the brave new world here. From my point of view, New Orleans is slowly getting back a reasonable facsimile of what the T-P used to be. That's nice but the old T-P wasn't all that great.

As for the indie sites, I enjoy them. I read all of them and I think they do a pretty ok job of things. But they really only reach a very small niche audience.

Meanwhile the larger part of the citizenry is being left behind. The city is supposedly enjoying a "boom" yet the number living in poverty remains well above the national norm. Poor people aren't treated like full citizens. They live in perpetual fear of the police. All sorts of rules and norms are contrived to exclude them from the civic sphere.

This phenomenon extends to information as well. You can build the brightest shiniest machine you like. But if it only serves a few people, then what is the point?

And again, the machine ain't even all that shiny. It's just slightly less bad than it could be.

Jason Brad Berry said...

But in the case of The Lens and UM, etc., my point is how much they've evolved over the last least The Lens. The Lens is head and shoulders above what they were just a year ago and they seem to be reaching more and more people. My point is that the landscape is getting better, and I believe it will get better than what it was before.

jeffrey said...

I agree that those sites are getting better. But I also believe access to information is becoming less free and open and available to people without means or savvy.

And I think that situation is going to get worse.

Doug Handshoe said...

All I see is two very wealthy guys, Steve Newhouse and John Georges fighting over the scraps of a technologically obsolete industry in a long term decline in a mid market city. Not exactly the path to business success IMHO.

Newhouse is known for paying their people above scale. To get Gordon Russell and Martha Carr he had to pay mightily and so it will be for anyone else he tries to poach from And I hear the people that went to the then new Advocate last year made far less than people at Newhouse so buying talent with for big money has big implications for the existing Advocate employees both in Baton Rouge and NOLA.

At the end of the day economics will rule here and when chains like McClatchy trumpet the growth of their digital subscriptions (due by an easily defeated paywall) in their SEC filings, it seems rather silly John Georges thinks he can buck that trend with ink and paper.

All that said, short term that which is happening now is a good thing for the local journalism profession because people like Manuel Torres may have a choice of employers. And yes, please I hope someone rescues Hammerman and McCarthy from WWL TeeVee.

Jason Brad Berry said...

I don't really have that many issues with WWL-TV. I think they've done a pretty good job recently. FOX 8, I've got lots of issues with.

Doug Handshoe said...

Don't get me started on Fox 8 and Tom Benson. ;-)

oyster said...

Working to tighten your new coinage, which I like. "Chao-awesomeness," perhaps? Many thanks for the kind shout-out to The Lens, Uptown Messenger, NolaDefender.

Anonymous said...

Rumblings of wgno being for sale. Look Out.

Anonymous said...

Georges is on a buying spree right now and WGNO-TV and Georges have been in talks for over six months. Its no coincidence that his first and only television interview was on WGNO regarding the purchase of the Advocate. He purportedly wants to integrate WGNO into the New Orleans Advocate to have a combo TV/Newspaper/Online media presence.

You have to be crazy not to see how Benson has utilized Fox 8 for his own benefit by shutting down the investigative division over there and Georges can follow lock-step in toe when he decides to run for the Senate or Governor.

whitmergate said...

This is the opportune time for Newhouse to step outside of the box and embrace new media ... hire you Jason ... hire Handshoe ... hire oyster ... hire Jeffery ... hell, hire me ... inventive and creative competition that Georges would dread ...

The point is that the Advocate hirings are the SOS ... so now the their management and raided reporters (most of whom are worn out T-P re-runs) will be having lunch at Galotoire's ( New Orleans or Baton Rouge) with the politicos instead of Antoine's ... great ... that'll make for a different but stale menu of news ...

I don't think this Geoges/Advocate scenario bodes well for us ...

Anonymous said...

King James Gill has found another Kingdom to rule by partnering up with another wealthy benefactor by the name of King Georges.

King Georges has reportedly hired another 12 Times Picayune reporters including Mark Schfielstein, Richard Rainey, Paul Purpora, Mark Waller, Nell Nolan, Manuel Torres, Ramon Vargas, Bruce Eggler, Laura Maggi, Brett Anderson, and newcomer Todd Mason. is hemorrhaging talent and more importantly advertisers at an stunning rate right now. would be well advised to fire Ricky Matthews now before there is nothing left to steal and goes the way of