To Our Readers:
In this season of reflection, we at The Times-Picayune and NOLA. com have much to thank you for. A little more than a year ago, we stepped boldly into the rapidly changing digital world. Our future as a viable news entity was at stake. We launched a new approach to delivering news and connecting our readers with our advertisers.
As we approach the end of the first year of operation in our new world, we are well on our way toward assuring our long-term ability to provide vital news and world-class advertising solutions to the communities we proudly serve.
We make this promise to you 24 hours a day: We vow to remain true to our 176- year tradition of being your primary source of the news and information that matter to you; to remain your government watchdog; to dig deep and hold the powerful to account; to reflect the vitality, energy, color and culture of the communities that bind us together as a region; and to be second to none in our ability to deliver results for our advertisers across a powerful platform of print and digital products.
We are grateful for your loyalty and for the trust you place in us each day. Your commitment has made our transformation possible. And because you have been such an important part of it, I want to take a few moments to tell you how the journey is going.
First, we have delivered on our promise to our readers:
• In February, the world turned its eyes to New Orleans and the Super Bowl, and we showcased all that makes us a world-class destination. Then the lights went out during the game, and we were the first to report to the world why it happened.
• When shooters opened fire on a Mother’s Day parade of second-liners, injuring 19, The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com were on the spot with comprehensive coverage. Ours were the first photos reported from the scene, taken by our reporter, who was among those fired upon.
• In August, we highlighted the struggles of businesses along Tulane Avenue waiting for the medical center to be completed while battling rampant crime and prostitution.
• In November, we launched the multi-layered investigation “Louisiana Purchased” in concert with our partners at WVUE-TV. It revealed the close ties between campaign contributions and largesse from the politicians who receive them. An online database of the contributions, created to give readers instant analysis the state does not provide, has been viewed more than 51,000 times.
• Just before Thanksgiving, we launched a vibrant new Eat, Drink & Cook web page at NOLA.com that shares thousands of recipes, showcases the work of our award-winning food and dining writers, and engages readers in a never-ending conversation about New Orleans’ food culture.
Second, our audience is growing:
• We end the year with exciting news that home delivery of The Times-Picayune has grown for four (soon to be five) consecutive months, and we are reaching more than 500,000 readers in print each week.
• With the launch earlier this year of our tab-format TP Street, available Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and our Early Edition on Saturdays, available at stores throughout the area (all also available electronically at tpedition.com), news from our award-winning team of journalists is available in print seven days a week, produced and delivered together with our partner company, Advance Central Services Louisiana.
• Our website audience has grown to more than 4.5 million unique users a month, with more than 2 million reading us on their phones or tablets.
• The audience to our newly expanded NOLA.com offerings in Baton Rouge has grown more than 40% over the past year.
• We have made dramatic improvements to the digital experience for our readers across all platforms, with new photo galleries and improved video players; responsive design that allows easy reading whether on tablet, desktop or phone; and state-of-the-art commenting systems that allow for real-time conversations among our writers and readers.
Finally, we are an advanced platform for linking businesses to their customers:
• We have transformed ourselves into a multi-platform advertising solutions company, with state-of-the-art targeting technology in print and online.
• We reach more than 75% of the metropolitan New Orleans population.
• We have the ability to deliver the Internet audience in New Orleans through extended reach, geographic targeting, behavioral targeting, and social media optimization.
• We have a more sophisticated set of advertising products and the ability to reach more customers than any other media company in Louisiana.
We look forward to exciting new initiatives in news, business and entertainment in 2014. As the largest news organization in Louisiana, our pledge to you, our loyal readers and customers, remains as strong as it has been since we began chronicling this community in 1837. And on behalf of the more than 1,000 employees and independent contractors of The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com and Advance Central Services Louisiana, it is an honor to serve you, our readers and advertisers. All of us extend to you our sincerest wishes for a prosperous and healthy 2014.Sincerely, Ricky R. Mathews President and Publisher NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
click here for a digital copy of our letter to our readers