OLD Media Moves

Whither business news in three Southern cities

May 26, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush


The future of daily business news in three Southern cities — Birmingham and Mobile in Alabama and New Orleans — is up in the air in the wake of a decision by the parent company of daily papers in those cities to cut to a three-day printing schedule.

Newhouse’s Advance Publications owns all three papers, the Birmingham News, the Mobile Press-Register and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

Talking Biz News checked with newsroom personnel at all three papers, and while staffers believe that their media organizations will continue to cover business news in some way, the depth and breadth is still to be determined.

It’s unclear what the future holds for The Times-Picayune business desk in New Orleans.

Like the rest of the news staff, it will learn its fate in early June. At that point it should begin to get an idea about what the business desk will look like going forward, or whether it will even continue to have a business desk, according to one staffer there with knowledge of the situation.

In Mobile, which is 90 minutes from New Orleans, a staffer told Talking Biz News that they are “confident there will still be a business coverage in each of the print editions as well as the digital content.”

In Birmingham, a revamped business news section was introduced two years ago. However, the editor and managing editor of the paper have both announced their departures.

“I hope strong business coverage remains a priority in the state’s largest metro area and most significant business center,” said one staffer in Birmingham. “It’s particularly important now, with the economic impact of the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history. But, to be honest, but only time will tell where it fits in the new model.”

It should be noted that the Newhouse media empire also owns the Birmingham Business Journal, but does not own business weeklies in Mobile or New Orleans. As far as Talking Biz News could determine, there is no business weekly in Mobile.

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