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As the newspaper war gets off to a fitful start, a new LSU study concludes that 76% of New Orleans area residents will turn to television as their future source for local news now that the T-P has gone to a three-day-a-week publishing schedule.

The study, produced by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab and summarized by the Baton Rouge website BusinessReport.com, says:

After being informed that the Times Picayune was moving to a 3-days a week publishing schedule, respondents were then asked where they plan to get local news from in the future. 3 out of 4 respondents said local television (76%), followed by local internet sites (44%) and the 3-days a week Times Picayune (40%.)

Other interesting statistics reported in the study include:

Daily User: The percentage of users who read news about their local community online everyday [18.7%] is noticeably higher than the percentage of users who specifically read NOLA.com everyday [11.4%]; … This suggests users are getting their local news online from a source other than [the Times-Picayune's own website].

Trust: When it comes to which media outlets are most trusted by New Orleans area residents, local television news is the most common answer with 46.1 pecent. However, local print newspapers do come in second with 26.9 percent. Online sources are lowest with 7.6 percent, which suggests residents are more suspect of news they encounter online compared to traditional media.

Subscriptions: Only 16% of 25 to 34 year olds have a paid subscription to the Times Picayune; compared to over half of all respondents over the age of 55.

Intentions for The Advocate: After being informed of The Advocate’s plans to publish a New Orleans edition, over 1 in 3 (36.2%) of respondents said they plan to buy it. 1 in 2 (51.4%) of current Times Picayune subscribers plan on buying The Advocate’s New Orleans edition.

Commentary: On the last point above it is interesting to note that the LSU Public Policy Research Lab is part of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, named after the family that publishes The Advocate. Quoting the survey, “the Manship School at LSU decided to fund the research” and “Interviews were conducted from 7-31-12 to 8-26-12.” The Advocate officially announced its re-entry into the New Orleans market shortly thereafter in a P.R. letter dated 9/7/12 and signed by David Manship. Call me cynical, but from this sequence of events one might legitimately question whether a privately held company used its family connections to get a state university to do market research for its own purposes on the public’s dime.