On the heels of another bloodletting, NOLA Media Group announced today that NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune will begin outsourcing its news coverage for Greater New Orleans by late next year and is in the process of moving its offices.
The company said it plans to utilize news generated in Mobile, Alabama, the same city it moved its printing operations to in 2015, as its coverage for New Orleans. The cost-saving move is expected to cut the company’s responsibilities and the livelihood of its reporters by more than three-quarters.
According to NOLA Media Group, which now stands for News Out of Lower Alabama, the newspaper will take current news coverage from Mobile, Alabama, and repurpose it for the city of New Orleans, editing names and places to give it a “more local feel.”
NOLA Media’s online publication and newspaper will move from New Orleans into The Core Community Coffee House in the heart of Mobile. Hunter Wrest, president of NOLA Media Group, said two full-time NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune repurposers and 120,000 internet scrapping news-bots will be based out of the office.
“This is an exciting next step in our ongoing transformation as a digitally focused, multi-platform source of irrelevancy,” said Wrest.
The new office will include 6 tables, 24 chairs, and a couch, whenever not already in use, Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. — significantly smaller than the 8,200 square feet NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune took up in their prior office at 201 St Joseph St. The office will be closed on Sunday per Core Coffee’s store hours.
“By locating this critical part of our business in The Core Community Coffee House, we can be on the ground connecting and engaging with people in the community we serve. Plus, they have great coffee,” Wrest noted.
According to Wrest, the decision to use Alabama news as New Orleans news will cut costs, improve efficiency, and give both locals and tourists a much-improved outlook on the Crescent City.
“We’re excited to be able to provide our New Orleans readers with news of less crime, better government, solid infrastructure, and a perennial football champion — we finally got Nick Saban back,” Wrest said.
The Times-Picayune announced in 2012 that it would reduce the number of employees it has and days it produces a print newspaper to embrace a digital-first, clickbait strategy. In late 2014, the paper said it would outsource its printing operations to a facility in Mobile, Alabama, that prints The Press-Register, another newspaper ransacked by The Times-Picayune’s New York-based owners, Advance Publications.