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Tom Benson's Letter of Support for a Daily Newspaper in New Orleans

Posted May 29, 2012

Mr. Benson wrote a letter to Advance.net Chairman Steven Newhouse in support of the Times-Picayune remaining a daily newspaper

May 27, 2012

Dear Mr. Newhouse:

I am corresponding in hopes that your organization will strongly reconsider its recent decision to publish the Times-Picayune three days a week, rather than the customary tradition of a daily newspaper. New Orleans and its residents have long prided itself as being one of the most unique and culturally rich cities in the world and the host to millions of visitors each year. New Orleans and this region deserve a daily newspaper that covers news, culture, business, religion and everything else that makes New Orleans great.

It is my belief that New Orleans has the passion and spirit and resilience and deserves to be a city with a daily. Major league cities (and rest assured, we are one), have high-visibility entities such as NBA and NFL teams. They host Super Bowls, Final Fours, BCS National Championships, All-Star games, and other international events. It is hard for me to imagine no Times-Picayune on Monday, February 4, 2013, the day after our city hosts Super Bowl XLVII. Cities like ours deserve, and have, at least one daily paper. A city that will celebrate 300 years as a city deserves a daily newspaper.

I understand the need to embrace the evolving technology that comes with the digital media. However, I see on a daily basis the need to have a vibrant newspaper in the hands of those that have made it a daily habit to pick up the paper and read it from cover-to-cover. I proudly count myself in that number and have for much of my life. Our city needs and deserves the Times-Picayune to remain a daily newspaper, which will work hand-in-hand with your digital storytelling ventures.

This morning I read, in my Sunday Times-Picayune, where New Orleans has become a magnet city and one of the most desired cities for entrepreneurs and eager, motivated young adults seeking to better their careers. I was proud of that and instantly thought of the need these people, and countless others, will have for a daily newspaper. They, just like us, depend on it.

The Times-Picayune boasts top ranking in the nation in proportion of people who read both daily and Sunday newspapers. That’s the pinnacle and gold standard for a newspaper to aspire to. It is not the time to make a dramatic switch to publishing only three times a week.

I urge you to please reconsider your decision to take away our city’s only daily newspaper.

Tom Benson
Owner
New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Hornets, WVUE-TV (Fox 8) and Times-Picayune Daily Subscriber and Reader

cc:
Mayor Mitch Landrieu
Governor Bobby Jindal
Rita Benson LeBlanc
Dennis Lauscha
Mickey Loomis
Greg Bensel

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