There can be only one

May 2012: The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, along with other papers owned by Advance Publications (Condé Nast), announces it will cut back its publishing schedule: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday only.

June 2012: Advance lays off about 200 members of the T-P staff.

October 2012: The Advocate, a Baton Rouge paper, sets up a New Orleans operation that will publish seven days a week.

September 2014: After experimenting with a tabloid-sized T-P on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the Times-Picayune returns to a seven-day-a-week schedule.

May 2019: The Advocate acquires the T-P:

The Newhouse family sold the 182-year-old daily The Times-Picayune and its website, nola.com, to a scrappy New Orleans competitor, and the entire staff is being laid off. That has stirred worries across the other papers in the family’s Advance Publications empire.

A total of 161 staff members are being laid off, according to a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) notice filed with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, which listed 65 reporter and editor jobs in the bloodbath.

John and Dathel Georges, the husband-and-wife team that owns the rival New Orleans Advocate, are buying The Times-Picayune from Newhouse’s Advance Local, which has owned it since 1962.

The Advocate plans to publish a seven-days-a-week paper using both brands on the masthead starting in early June and will merge both websites under nola.com.

Is this the first of several dominoes? Advance says no:

Randy Siegel, chief executive of Advance Local, said the company does not intend to sell any other papers. “This was a one-off,” Siegel told The [New York] Post. “We’re all terribly sad about the outcome.”

And that “both brands” deal can’t last too long, as I, once a reader of the Boston Herald Traveler and Record American am willing to bet. (The HTRA survives as the Boston Herald.) I’m guessing that “Picayune” has more actual market value than “Times.”

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