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Buyout in Baton Rouge

Advocate to reduce workforce by 5 percent

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  Three months after New Orleans businessman John Georges bought the Baton Rouge-based Advocate newspaper and expanded its nascent New Orleans edition, the paper announced a round of voluntary buyouts — but only at its Red Stick offices.

  Advocate General Manager Dan Shea said the goal was a 5 percent workforce reduction, half of which would come from the news staff, and if enough employees don't take buyouts, layoffs might occur. (The paper's main competitor, The Times-Picayune, offered two rounds of buyouts in recent years before reorganizing as the digitally focused NOLA Media Group last year.)

  The Advocate continues to remold its New Orleans operation; readers might have noticed a "New Orleans Advocate" flag (logo) in some house ads (replacing the "New Orleans edition" designation). Shea confirmed to Gambit that the formal name change for the Crescent City edition is coming soon, along with an overhaul of the paper's website. One change occurred last week: commenters now must sign in with their Facebook profiles, presumably to curb vitriol and trash-talking — though Advocate and T-P reporters have been doing plenty of that to each other. — Kevin Allman


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