The Advocate (Louisiana)

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The Advocate
The Advocate (Baton Rouge) front page.jpg
The April 4, 2007 front page of
The Advocate
Type Morning daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Capital City Press (John Georges)
Publisher John Georges
Editor Peter Kovacs
Founded 1909 (with heritage dating to 1842)
Headquarters 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70810
 United States
Circulation 98,000 weekday
125,000 Sunday (March 2013)

The Advocate is Louisiana's largest daily newspaper. Based in Baton Rouge, it serves the southern portion of the state, including Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette. It also publishes weekly entertainment magazines: Red in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, and Beaucoup in New Orleans.


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 morning Advocate to focus on national news. The Manship family became an influential force in Baton Rouge, later adding radio station WJBO and television station WBRZ-TV.

The State-Times, an afternoon publication, ceased in October 1991. The Advocate remains the sole descendant of the original 1842 paper.

Handing out free copies of the New Orleans edition in the New Orleans Central Business District, October 2012

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[1] that materialized when New Orleans' longtime daily paper, The Times-Picayune, announced[2][3] 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.[4] Georges completed the deal to buy The Advocate on April 30. Georges became publisher of The Advocate; Dan Shea is general manager, and Peter Kovacs was named editor.[5] Georges has since added The Acadiana Advocate, a third edition serving Lafayette and the Acadiana region.

Notable people[edit]

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.

From 1949 to her death in 1970, Margaret Dixon was The Advocate's first woman managing editor. Veteran journalist Kenneth L. Dixon (no relation to Margaret) also worked there.

Advocate main office in Baton Rouge, 2012

Ed Cullen's "Attic Salt" column was a feature in the paper. His book Letter in a Woodpile collected 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.

In 2013, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Walt Handelsman returned to Louisiana to join The Advocate as a cartoonist and animator, and columnist James Gill moved to The Advocate from the Times-Picayune.


  1. ^ Murphy, Paul. "The Advocate overwhelmed with subscribers, leaving some waiting on papers." WWLTV. October 5, 2012. Retrieved on October 10, 2012.
  2. ^ Hagey, Keach (May 24, 2012). "Times-Picayune of New Orleans No Longer a Daily". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ Mirkinson, Jack (May 24, 2012). "New Orleans Times-Picayune Faces Deep Cuts, Will End Daily Publication". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Georges signs letter of intent to buy The Advocate". The Advocate (Louisiana). March 25, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  5. ^ "Georges buys 'The Advocate'". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, April 30, 2013, p. 1. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]