John Georges is not wasting any time.
Four more key Times-Picayune reporters and editors, including two more Pulitzer Prize winners, have left the Picayune for The Advocate. The moves were announced in an Advocate article today, just one week after the Baton Rouge paper was acquired by the multimillionaire New Orleans businessman.
Martha Carr, Gordon Russell, Claire Galofaro and Andrew Vanacore are the new hires. Carr will be managing editor of The New Orleans Advocate, Russell will be managing editor for investigations, and Galofaro and Vanacore will be reporters.
The Advocate also announced that Sara Pagones, another former T-P reporter and editor who was hired earlier to open The Advocate’s New Orleans bureau, will now be its St. Tammany Parish bureau chief.
Carr, Russell and Pagones were part of a T-P team that won a Pulitzer for its post-Katrina coverage.
These latest moves grow the number of former key Picayune staffers now on The Advocate payroll to seven, and the number of Pulitzer winners to five, including general manager Dan Shea and editor Peter Kovacs, whose hires were announced by Georges immediately upon buying the paper. Shea and Kovacs were both editors at the Picayune when, according to The Advocate, the Picayune “won four Pulitzer prizes in a nine-year span”.
Georges’ operating philosophy appears to be, “If you can’t buy ‘em, beat ‘em.”
Update: Columbia Journalism Review’s Ryan Chittum has weighed in with his analysis of these developments here.