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This is getting serious (or funny, depending on how you look at it).

The Picayune’s long-time satirical columnist James Gill has signed on with The Advocate, according to a May 13 announcement in that newspaper.

The Advocate’s announcement played it straight:

James Gill, who has been lampooning Louisiana politicians for more than a quarter of a century, will join The Advocate this week.

Gill’s column will appear on The Advocate’s opinion pages on Thursday and Sunday, beginning this week.

He had been appearing in The Times-Picayune.

“We’re looking forward to having James appear in our newspaper,” said Peter Kovacs, the Advocate’s editor.

But Gambit’s Kevin Allman, who, judging by own his writing style, is undoubtedly a Gill fan, plays it up:

James Gill, whose acerbic wit and incisive columns about Louisiana politics and peccadillos have appeared in The Times-Picayune since 1986, is the latest T-P name to jump ship to The Advocate.

“It’s very hard to make out a quote, because quotes are all bullshit,” Gill told Gambit tonight. “But I am delighted to go to the highest bidder, I am happy to be renewing my association with [former Times-Picayune managing editor, now Advocate editor] Peter Kovacs — and I am delighted we have a newspaper war again after so many years.”

Allman continues,

… more [defections] are expected to follow this week.

… The open question now — and one that’s being asked in both The Times-Picayune and Advocate New Orleans newsrooms — is whether Advocate executives will be satisfied for now with Gill and a couple more names who are poised to defect, or whether there’s been a shift in strategy in recent days and The Advocate will continue to plunder the T-P newsroom.

Wags will have fun with this, but the serious part is that it looks like John Georges is intent on cutting the heart out of the Times-Picayune.