John Georges officially takes over 'The Advocate'

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For more than 100 years, the Manship name has been associated with the Baton Rouge based newspaper, The Advocate. Wednesday, the paper was passed to another Louisiana family and the new owner is talking expansion.

"I just...there's a couple people I need to thank," said David Manship with a bit of a sigh.

The announcement was a bit emotional for one family, but marked the beginning of a new business venture for another family.

The headline on the paper told the story even before the official announcement.

"Without much further ado let me introduce to you the new owner of Capital City Press, John Georges and his wife Dathel," said Manship.

It was months ago that John Georges' name surfaced as the person interested in buying Baton Rouge's daily newspaper. The former publisher says what's important is the states largest daily print newspaper is staying in the hands of a Louisiana family.

Georges is a New Orleans businessman, who years ago ran for governor but lost to Bobby Jindal. He also made a bid for New Orleans mayor, but lost to Mitch Landrieu.

"Dathel thanks the governor and mayor personally for beating me, so I could be here today," said Georges.

Getting new to New Orleans will be one of Georges' priorities. In the fall, The Times-Picayune scaled back its paper. The Advocate then launched a New Orleans edition, but Georges says more can be done to increase readership there.

With that in mind, some in Baton Rouge are hoping that will not have a negative impact on the market here.

Georges says he has no plans to downsize staff. He says he will be concentrating on the business side of the paper. All other decisions will fall on to two former Times-Picayune employees, Dan Shea and Peter Kovacs, named The Advocates General Manager and Editor, respectively.

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