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Decent so far, but different, and still a ways to go.

Like everyone else who could get their hands on them this week, I’ve picked up several complementary issues of The Advocate New Orleans Edition (what I’ll abbreviate as “TANOE”). My first impression is that the T-P wins, so far.

The New Orleans-specific content of TANOE at this point consists mainly of a thin veneer over The Advocate’s usual daily fair. What’s there is relevant and is written at least as well as similar stories in the T-P, but there’s not enough of it. It’s still very early in the game, but the coverage will have to grow considerably to really compete.

Other than that, TANOE is like every other edition of The Advocate — local and regional stories and features written in shorter, more “homey” copy than T-P readers are accustomed to; non-local news provided mainly by wire stories; a good Sports section; good use of color (including the daily comic strips!); and advertisements clearly aimed at a different type of reader (e.g., blaring multi-day half-page ads for “Military Gun Sale”, complete with large images of that day’s assault-rifle specials); all in a layout and style that is more like USA Today than a more serious, in-depth newspaper.

Like several thousand other T-P subscribers, I’ve signed up for home delivery of TANOE. But I’m also continuing my T-P subscription so I can do a closer comparison over a longer period. I think it’s already safe to say, though, that T-P readers who are dropping their subscription and switching over to TANOE will find it to be a difficult adjustment in their daily reading habit, and not very satisfying, at least at this point, if what they want is broad and deep coverage of what is going on in their own backyard.