Advocate hires new sportswriter to cover Ragin’ Cajuns _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Luke Johnson, The Advocate's new Acadiana-based sportswriter.

The Acadiana Advocate is expanding its staff, adding a sportswriter who will cover the Ragin’ Cajuns and the region’s dynamic prep sports scene.

Luke Johnson joins The Acadiana Advocate from Tiger Rag, a Baton Rouge magazine that covers LSU sports.

He is a former Marine, an Iraq war veteran and a graduate of LSU who has written for The Times-Picayune and The Commercial Appeal, of Memphis, Tennessee.

“Luke is one of Louisiana’s most promising young sports journalists, and we’re so proud to have him joining The Acadiana Advocate,” said Peter Kovacs, the newspaper’s editor.

Johnson will work in Lafayette, joining the staff at The Acadiana Advocate’s office on Johnston Street.

He is signing on as the paper launches an aggressive push to expand coverage and increase circulation in Acadiana. The Acadiana Advocate lured social columnist Patricia Gannon from The Advertiser last year and just last week announced a news partnership with KATC, the region’s leading television news team.

The Advocate is among the few newspapers in the United States whose circulation is growing. In Acadiana, the newspaper has increased its subscriptions by a third.

The newspaper was purchased in 2013 by Dathel and John Georges, local business owners who have expanded coverage from Lafayette to New Orleans, as large newspaper chains have cut back on their commitment to Louisiana.