The Advocate (Louisiana)
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The April 4, 2007 front page of
|Type||Morning daily newspaper|
|Owner||Capital City Press|
|Founded||1842 (as The Democratic Advocate)|
|Headquarters||7290 Bluebonnet Blvd
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70810
125,000 Sunday (March 2013)
The oldest ancestor of the modern paper was the Democratic Advocate, an anti-Whig, pro-Democrat periodical established in 1842. The paper went through several transformations, but was ultimately acquired as The State-Times, a paper with emphasis on local news, in 1909 by Charles Manship's newly founded Capital City Press. In 1925, Manship also began publishing the companion Advocate editions to focus on national news. The Manship family has since become an influential force in Baton Rouge, as they continue to maintain family ownership of Capital City Press and other media outlets, such as WBRZ-TV.
The State-Times, an afternoon publication, ceased in October 1991. The Advocate hence remains the sole descendant of the original 1842 paper.
David William Thomas, a Louisiana State University journalism professor, published a small Baton Rouge newspaper in the early 1920s, which was acquired by The Advocate. He then published papers in Hammond, and Minden, where he was elected mayor in 1936.
A popular Advocate columnist is Ed Cullen, whose "Attic Salt" appears on Sundays. He is also a National Public Radio essayist and the author of Letter in a Woodpile, a collection of some of his Morning Advocate and NPR selections.
In 2007, the newspaper lost three of its key staff with the deaths of Capitol Bureau Chief John LaPlante, health reporter and author of "The Patient Person" columns Laurie Smith Anderson and environmental writer Michael P. Dunne. LaPlante died in Texas in a drowning accident, and Anderson and Dunne succumbed to cancer.
On October 1, 2012, The Advocate began printing and distributing a daily New Orleans edition for both newsstand and home delivery. This was due to a perceived hole in the market that materialized when New Orleans' regular daily paper, The Times-Picayune, announced it would cut back its print publication to only three days per week.
In March 2013, New Orleans businessman John Georges, who ran unsuccessfully in 2007 as an Independent for governor of Louisiana, signed a letter of intent to purchase The Advocate, whose circulation in 2013 is 98,000 (daily) and 125,000 (Sunday) as a result of its entry and 20,000 subscriptions in the New Orleans market.  Georges previously took over a small family company and transformed it into a billion-dollar business. He completed the deal to buy The Advocate on April 30. The Advocate serves readers not only in the capital city and its environs but a swath of territory from Lafayette to New Orleans. It is among the relatively few newspapers in the United States whose print circulation is growing. It was formerly owned by descendants of Charles P. Manship, Sr., who have been newspaper proprietors in Baton Rouge since 1909. Georges will serve as publisher of The Advocate; Dan Shea is general manager, and Peter Kovacs was named editor.
It presents itself as the "Independent Voice of South Louisiana." Today, it maintains this tradition, although this does not preclude it from taking positions and offering political endorsements.
- Murphy, Paul. "The Advocate overwhelmed with subscribers, leaving some waiting on papers." WWLTV. October 5, 2012. Retrieved on October 10, 2012.
- Hagey, Keach (May 24, 2012). "Times-Picayune of New Orleans No Longer a Daily". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- Mirkinson, Jack (May 24, 2012). "New Orleans Times-Picayune Faces Deep Cuts, Will End Daily Publication". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- "Georges signs letter of intent to buy The Advocate". The Advocate (Louisiana). March 25, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- "Georges buys 'The Advocate'". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, April 30, 2013, p. 1. Retrieved May 1, 2013.