"I think this was a story where the journalists were way ahead of everyone," said Steven Newhouse, the chairman of Advance.net
and son of Advance Publications Inc. president Donald Newhouse, who owns the New Orleans Times-Picayune
. Battered by Katrina, his staff had been among the first to watch the levees fail and the city flood. They'd distributed newspapers to places the National Guard claimed to be unable to reach. And they were the first to turn around to face the rest of the country and speak for their readers: "Help Us, Please," a Sept. 2 headline read.
The New York Newhouses have forged a strong bond with the New Orleans daily, which was born in 1837 and at one time published William Faulkner and William Sidney Porter. The Newhouse family has owned The Times-Picayune since 1962, when S.I. Newhouse bought the paper. Norman Newhouse, the uncle of Condé Nast scion Si, moved to New Orleans in 1967 and kept an office in The Times-Picayune building for 20 years before his death in 1988. For the past 25 years, Donald Newhouse has met with Times-Picayune executives once a month.
"Everyone [in our family] has their own personal feelings about the paper," Steven Newhouse said. "I certainly have close relationships with everyone down there."
On Friday, the Newhouse family struck down an Internet rumor that The Times-Picayune would cease publication in the fallout from Katrina. (more...)
Grace E. Lee