Capital City Press, STAMA Building, 1906 to 1912
Located at the southeast corner of Florida and Lafayette Streets. In the background, with the painted wall: Capital City, is the subsequent home of the newspaper from 1912-1916. This building was later used by the Greyhound Bus Station and was destroyed by 1953 when the site was a parking lot. (Photo by Ewing, Inc., no date.)
Capital City Press, STAMA Building, 1923-1938
Located at 334 Florida St. The building was later used as the "Varsity Shop" and has been restored by attorney Danny McGlynn. (Photo by Ewing, Inc., May 5, 1923)
Capital City Press, STAMA Building, 1938-1953
Located at 352 Florida St. (Photo by Francis Julais of the Rembrandt Studio.)
Capital City Press, 1953 - 2005
The previous Advocate newspaper building, in this Feb. 27, 2000 photo, was located at 525 Lafayette Street in Baton Rouge.
Capital City Press, 2005 - current
The current Advocate newspaper building, in this October 2005 photo, is located at 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd. in Baton Rouge. The newspaper moved from its Lafayette Street building on the completion of the renovation of the building in 2005.
The Advocate newspaper and their journalistic ancestors have been a vital force covering south Louisiana for more than 175 years.
The Advocate is a daily morning newspaper published daily since 1925 and includes The New Orleans Advocate and The Acadiana Advocate.
The newspaper is owned by Capital City Press, founded in 1909 by Charles P. Manship Sr. and James Edmonds. Manship purchased his partner's interest in 1912, and the company was run by the founder's four grandchildren — David Manship, Richard Manship, Dina Manship Planche and Douglas Manship Jr., — until its purchase by the Georges Media Group in 2012.
The founding news principle established by Charles Manship Sr. in 1909 for his recently acquired publication was stated on the front page of its first edition. The editorial informed its readers, "It is our intention to print a newspaper whose editorials are not for sale, and whose news items cannot be suppressed, a newspaper commensurate with hopes and plans of Baton Rouge." The editorial also said the newspaper would remain "free to look the world in the face" and "to dare to tell the truth of any man living."
That initial editorial established a policy that continues today - almost a century later.
Today's Advocate traces its publishing history back to The Democratic Advocate, a newspaper founded in 1842 with an agenda of defeating the local candidates of the rival Whig political party. The newspaper scene was in constant flux during the period of the Civil War, with newspapers, and editors in transition. The Louisiana Capitolian appeared in 1868, and soon merged with the re-named Weekly Advocate. By 1889 the Advocate was being published daily, and in 1904 a new owner, William Hamilton, renamed it The Baton Rouge Times, and the paper became The State-Times. The newly formed Capital City Press owned by Manship and Edmonds purchased the State-Times in 1909.
Huey P. Long Era
The State-Times, an afternoon publication with emphasis on local news, was published until October 1991, when television news, and the public's changing reading habits forced its closure. Capital City Press had created The Morning Advocate in 1925 to provide a growing population with an early edition of the news provided by the local reporting staff and wire services, a vital source of local, national and international information in those days prior to radio and television. The new publication was an immediate success, enjoying a wide circulation in the towns and rural communities surrounding Baton Rouge.
During the turbulent era of the Huey P. Long leadership in the 1920s and 1930s, Charles Manship maintained the independence of his newspapers, continuing to publish an objective view of the news, and criticizing the administration on certain issues, despite extreme pressure, at times, from the Huey Long forces.
In 1934, Manship established WJBO, the first radio station in Baton Rouge, and the first of several media ventures that would eventually include an FM radio station, WFMF, and WBRZ-TV. (For a chronicle of WBRZ through the decades, read WBRZ History.)
From the beginning, the Manship family has played a direct role in the policy, operation and development of the Capital City Press publications. Charles Manship's son, Charles Manship Jr., became editor and publisher of the two newspapers on his father's death in 1947. Under his guidance, the publishing company grew. The newspaper moved from its Florida Street building on the completion of the building at 525 Lafayette St. in 1953. In 1970, Charles Manship Jr. became president of Capital City Press, and his only sibling, Douglas Manship Sr., became editor and publisher.
During Douglas Manship's leadership, the old hot-lead printing presses were replaced by a computerized production center at 6700 Bluebonnet Blvd., doubling its printing capacity with two 12-unit letterpresses, along with the newest technology for inserting pre-printed advertising material and circulation needs. Also, the newspapers' coverage was expanded with the opening of news bureaus at Louisiana's nearby State Capitol and in Washington, D.C. News bureaus with staffs are also located in Lafayette, the Westside, the River Parishes, the Florida Parishes and Baker-Zachary.
In 1989, David C. Manship, one of Douglas Manship's four children, was named associate publisher. After the closure of the State-Times in 1991, Douglas Manship Sr. became president of Capital City Press, and David Manship was named publisher. Charles Manship died in 1994.
In In 1996, Douglas Manship Jr., who had worked as Capital City Press’s correspondent in Washington, and later as news feature editor and editorial writer for the two newspapers, was named director of the company’s newly formed online operations. Douglas Manship Sr. died in 1999. Later that year David Manship stepped down and Douglas Manship Jr. became publisher of the Advocate.
The Advocate moved from its offices in downtown Baton Rouge to new offices at 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd. in October of 2005. The facility on Bluebonnet Blvd. is a 150,000 square foot building on properties owned by the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart’s Family and with long-term lease agreements with Capital City Press. The deteriorating condition of the offices at 525 Lafayette made the move necessary. The downtown building was torn down in 2008 and the property is currently up for sale.
In November, 2006, a new production center on Reiger Road replaced the Bluebonnet Road production center and its 1950s era letterpresses, which had far outlived their expected life span. The new production center houses a massive six-story tall MAN Roland Regioman offset press, as well as new packaging equipment giving the newspaper a wide range of operations for printing and packaging the newspaper and other publications.
Upon Douglas Manship's retirement in 2007, David Manship returned as publisher and Chief Operating Officer.
The Advocate moved from its offices in downtown Baton Rouge to new offices at 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., in October 2005. The facility was leased from the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart's family. The deteriorating condition of the offices at 525 Lafayette made the move necessary. The downtown building was torn down in 2008.
In November 2006, a new production center on Rieger Road replaced the Bluebonnet Road production center and its 1950s era letterpresses, which had far outlived their expected life span. The new production center houses a massive six-story tall Manroland Regioman offset press, as well as new packaging equipment giving the newspaper a wide range of operations for printing and packaging the newspaper and other publications.
Upon Douglas Manship's retirement in 2007, David Manship returned as publisher and chief operating officer.
In 2012, The Advocate expanded into New Orleans with The New Orleans Advocate with a daily newspaper after the Advance Media-owned Times-Picayune announced layoffs and a printing cutback that included home delivery three days a week.
Georges buys The Advocate
John Georges, who took over a small family company and transformed it into a billion-dollar business, completed a deal on May 7, 2013 to purchase The Advocate.
Georges, together with his wife Dathel, formed Georges Media Group and named two veteran Louisiana journalists as senior executives in 2013: Dan Shea is currently publisher and Peter Kovacs as editor.
In 2015, Georges Media built a state-of-the-art 48,000-square-foot office building on Rieger Road in Baton Rouge adjacent to the newspaper’s printing press. The building is the corporate headquarters and largest newsroom from which to manage its growing portfolio of newspapers, community sections and websites across south Louisiana.
In 2017, The New Orleans Advocate opened a prominent new office building at 840 St. Charles Ave. The building was originally the Klein Motors car dealership designed by noted architectural team Curtis and Davis. It currently houses about 50 New Orleans-based journalists and advertising sales staff, as well as offices for the owners and publisher. The Advocate currently publishes three daily newspapers (The Acadiana Advocate, The New Orleans Advocate and The Advocate in Baton Rouge) as well as 13 weekly community sections in Ascension Parish, Livingston Parish, West Feliciana Parish and several areas around New Orleans and Baton Rouge, including Zachary.
In March 2017, Georges Media expanded their footprint in St. Tammany Parish purchasing The Farmer, a weekly newspaper that has been part of the north shore’s civic life since 1874.
In January 2018, Judi Terzotis was named president.
Also in 2018, the holding company for The New Orleans Advocate purchased the New Orleans independent weekly Gambit and its website, bestofneworleans.com.