BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The owner of The Advocate newspaper is asking the community for donations to help keep their operation up and running.
John Georges, who owns a billion-dollar group of businesses including, The Advocate newspaper, said Wednesday, March 25 the plea for public donations came after people in the community asked how they could help.
“Every penny matters in the newspaper business,” Georges said by phone Wednesday. “If there are people in the community who want to contribute to make their paper last longer, we are accepting.”
“Simply put, we need your help,” said the mass email from The Advocate Editor Peter Kovacs. “Please consider contributing to our newsroom today.”
The emailed plea contained links for people to donate in amounts of $100, $500 or $1,000 in exchange for a free poster, tote bag or coffee mug. In an article posted in The Advocate earlier this week, Kovacs said government closures due to the novel coronavirus threat have led to a drop in newspaper advertisements.
“People are calling and praising us for the work we are doing and telling us how much they appreciate it,” Georges said. “It was a response to people asking how they could help.”
The Advocate, based in Baton Rouge, is Louisiana’s largest daily newspaper operation.
It serves the southern part of the state including Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and New Orleans.
Earlier this week, The Advocate announced it was temporarily laying off about 40 people among its 400-member workforce. Georges said the newspaper would continue to pay for healthcare insurance for the furloughed workers.
Georges says newspapers asking for contributions from the community is nothing new
“That’s something newspapers all over the country are doing because people are calling to help,” Georges said. “It’s one of the many measures we’re using to continue to provide full news coverage over a longer period of time.”
Georges purchased the 95-year-old newspaper from the Manship family in 2013.
Click here to report a typo.