Seismic social scene shift

Certain prominent families will face a difficult decision next month, because the doyenne chronicler of the New Orleans social scene is switching newspapers.

Nell Nolan, whose society column has been the standard record of social status and achievement for decades, is moving from the Times-Picayune to The Advocate, reportedly because she was treated so shabbily by the new management team of NOLA Media Group. According to a report at Dash30Dash,

Nolan, who originated the column 34 years ago this past Tuesday, was laid off from her full-time job last fall and brought back as a lower-paid contractor without benefits. She left after that and other perceived slights, including no longer being allowed to work out of the newspaper’s offices.

Moving to The Advocate along with Nolan is Daniel Erath, her long-time column photographer.

In announcing what it disingenuously  implied was Nolan’s “retirement”, the Picayune said she would be replaced by the much younger Sue Strachan,

who chronicled the goings-on of New Orleans society during a 12-year stint as editor of St. Charles Avenue Magazine.

Now, I don’t know how many society folks wait eagerly for each edition of St. Charles Avenue Magazine to hit the rack at the grocery store, but you can bet that countless people in that segment of the population read Nolan’s column with a religious regularity matched only by their attendance at mass.

So, what are these people to do?

  • Stick with the Times-Picayune and hope that its ingenue columnist is up to their standards?
  • Switch to The Advocate so they can continue to follow the one they know and love?
  • Or double-down and subscribe to both papers so they won’t miss even the smallest who’s-who detail?

Oh, my, what is the graceful way out of this dilemma?


More GNO parishes get love from The Advocate

The Advocate has hired Times-Picayune alumnus Richard Thompson to broaden its coverage of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes, further demonstrating that it is committed to reporting on the entire Greater New Orleans area.

According to The Advocate’s announcement, Thompson covered St. John when he joined the Picayune in 2010, and moved into a business reporting role for that paper later the same year.

His business reporting won a 2012 first-place award from the Louisiana/Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors.

Thompson gained notoriety on Black Tuesday when he reportedly brought a bottle of Crown Royal to what turned out to be the meeting at which he was fired from the Times-Picayune. It is not known whether he brought one to the meeting at which he was hired by The Advocate.