by Kevin Allman
In response to the cutbacks at The Times-Picayune, the Advocate of Baton Rouge has opened a bureau and will begin printing a New Orleans edition Monday. Now — en garde, y'all! — the T-P strikes back, announcing it will expand its Baton Rouge bureau and begin distributing a Red Stick version of the T-P, as well as create a Baton Rouge-focused landing page for NOLA.com:
A customized Baton Rouge version of the NOLA.com website and a Baton Rouge edition of The Times-Picayune, as well as targeted home delivery in the Baton Rouge metro area will be in place by the end of the year, said Ricky Mathews, NOLA Media Group president. The company will also make available for purchase in Baton Rouge the new "Black and Gold Extra" publication to be printed after Saints games on days The Times-Picayune doesn't publish a print edition. The Black and Gold Extra launches Oct. 1 with complete coverage of the Saints game against the Green Bay Packers and other NFL coverage.
The Baton Rouge managing editor will be Carlos Sanchez, a veteran journalist who may be able to feel the pain of all the fired Times-Pic employees — he was laid off as editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald in Texas last year.
Advocate publisher David Manship is said to be in meetings right now; we'll update this post with his reaction.
UPDATE: Here's Manship's statement on the move:
"The Advocate will begin home delivery of its New Orleans edition throughout the metropolitan regional area on Oct. 1. We are excited to provide a printed, local daily newspaper to the New Orleans area — and the response we have received to date has been very strong.
NOLA Media Group announced today that they will open a Baton Rouge bureau to report on Baton Rouge news. We wish them well with their new venture in Baton Rouge as we begin providing New Orleans with a new daily printed newspaper."