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Richmond Times-Dispatch front page.jpg
The July 27, 2005 front page of the
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner Media General
Publisher Thomas A. Silvestri
Editor Glenn Proctor
Founded 1850 (as the Richmond Dispatch)
Headquarters 300 East Franklin Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
United States
Circulation 186,441 Daily
214,971 Sunday[1]
Official website

The Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD or TD for short) is the primary daily newspaper in Richmond the capital of Virginia, United States, and is commonly considered the "newspaper of record" for events occurring in much of the state. It utilizes reports from the Associated Press. Thomas A. Silvestri is the president and publisher. Glenn Proctor is executive editor.



Besides Richmond, the Times-Dispatch is a primary daily paper in the Virginia cities of Petersburg, Chester. Hopewell, Colonial Heights, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Waynesboro. As the primary paper of the state's capital, the Times-Dispatch is also a default paper for rural regions of the state without large local papers circulating.

History and notable accomplishments


The RTD has existed in some form for more than 150 years. In 1850, a newspaper called the Daily Dispatch was founded. In 1886, a competitor, the Richmond Daily Times was founded by Lewis Ginter and in 1890 was renamed the Richmond Times. In 1896, the Times acquired the Manchester Leader (founded in 1888) and launched the Evening Leader. In 1899, the Richmond News was another paper founded.

In 1903, there was a merger of Richmond's main newspapers. The Times and the Dispatch became the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and a merger of the Leader and the News became The Richmond News Leader. They came under common ownership in 1908 under the leadership of Joseph Bryan (1845-1908). After he died later that year, the land for Richmond's Joseph Bryan Park was donated by his widow, Isobel ("Belle") Stewart Bryan, and it is named for him.

Eventually, this conglomeration of media formed Richmond Newspapers, Inc., with a 54 percent ownership by Bryan family. That conglomeration is now known as Media General.

On June 1, 1992, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Richmond News Leader merged into a single morning publication called the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

December 21, 2004 Mosul attack

The Richmond Times-Dispatch entered the national spotlight after a suicide bomber penetrated the defenses of an American military base in Mosul, Iraq on December 21, 2004. The deadliest attack on an American military installation since the war began, the attack injured 69 people and killed 22, 14 of whom were US service members. Four of the 14 were Halliburton employees, four were Iraqi forces allied with the US, and two of the 14 were with the Virginia National Guard's Richmond-based 276th Engineer Battalion, a group that had a Times-Dispatch embedded journalists with them; these were that group's first fatalities. The terrorist group Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the attack. The embedded Times-Dispatch journalists' report and photographs, and the testimony of hometown Richmond soldiers were read, heard and seen across the nation after the particularly devastating insurgent attack.

Tacky Christmas lights tour

In 1990, The RTD borrowed an idea [1] from a local entrepreneur, Barry "Mad Dog" Gottlieb, to encourage a "Tacky Christmas Lights Tour" also known by locals as the "Tacky Light Tour". Every week, the RTD lists the addresses of houses where the most tacky Christmas lights can be found. This tradition has begun to spread to other cities, like Fairfax, Virginia (DC area) [2] as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles.


Style Weekly piece

On July 12, 2006, Richmond-based news magazine Style Weekly ran a cover story [3]titled "Truth and Consequences," a piece that took a look at the Times-Dispatch's operations as the paper settled into its first year with new management. The report described new editor Glenn Proctor, who took over Nov. 14, 2005, as an "inelegant, blunt and harsh critic — to the point of saying, repeatedly, that some reporters’ work 'sucks.'" The piece described a newsroom teetering on the edge, preparing for promised changes — such as possible layoffs, fewer pages and combined sections — that eventually were realized. On April 2nd, 2009, the Times-Dispatch cut 90 jobs, laying off 59 workers, including 28 newsroom jobs.

Personnel changes

On July 31, 2006, the RTD's managing editor, Louise Seals, a 38-year-veteran of the newspaper, retired with little notice. Seals had held the managing editor position for 12 years. Other recently reported staff changes involve the newspaper's ad director, human resources director and circulation director.

Political Associations

Diane Cantor, the wife of House Minority Whip, Republican Eric Cantor, sits on Media General's Board of Directors, RTD's parent company[2]. Since the paper serves much of the congressman's 7th district, some controversy over coverage is noted, but generally dismissed as the nature of her involvement in the paper's traditionally conservative slant is not apparent.


Commentary, opinion, and editorials

A prominent newspaper in the state, the Times-Dispatch frequently features commentary from important figures from around Virginia, such as officials and presidents from Virginia Commonwealth University, The College of William and Mary, and the University of Virginia. Richmond Mayor Douglas Wilder, who had articles published in the paper before he held that position, often outlines policies his administration is implementing. During the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, its Commentary sections featured some pieces by Retired Admiral Roy Hoffmann, a founding member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and resident of Richmond suburb Chesterfield, against Democratic candidate John Kerry.

Times-Dispatch editors tend to be politically conservative, leading the paper to frequently endorse candidates of the Republican Party. It tends to use more conservative syndicated columnists, and supports many of George W. Bush's policies, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq and a flat income tax. However, the paper is not unilaterally conservative; for example, a 2005 editorial called for the then House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to relinquish his leadership position on ethical grounds. There are also some left-leaning syndicated columnists who appear frequently, especially Paul Krugman.


Like most major papers, the sports section has MLB, NASCAR, MLS, NBA, NCAA, NFL, and NHL scores and results. The Times-Dispatch sports pages naturally focus on Richmond and Virginia professional and college teams. In addition to Richmond Bandits, Richmond Braves, Richmond Kickers, and Richmond Renegades coverage, readers can expect to see in-depth coverage of the Washington Redskins in the fall and the newly-created Washington Nationals in the summer. "Virginians in the Pros" and similar features track all sorts of professional athletes who were born, lived in, or attended college in Virginia. Large automobile racing events like the Nextel Cup ( at the Richmond International Raceway) are often given a separate preview guide.

Catering to the vast array of Virginia hunters, fishers, hikers, and outdoorsmen, somewhere between half a page to a whole page most days is dedicated to outdoors articles, currently written by Lee Graves, who succeeded Garvey Winegar in November 2003. The "Scoreboard," which features minor-league standings, Vegas betting, and other sports scores, also gives tide measurements, river levels, and skiing conditions, depending on the season.

Virginians have traditionally been highly supportive of high school athletics, and its flagship paper is a testament to that. Particular emphasis is given to American football and basketball; the Times-Dispatch ranks area teams in these sports, in the style of the NCAA polls, and generally updates them weekly. In the fall, Sunday editions have the scores of all high school football games played that weekend from across the state. Prep games are also receive above-average coverage in baseball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Stories are frequently done on notable prep athletes, such as those from foreign countries, those with disabilities, those who play a multitude of sports, or those who had little or no prior experience in a sport which they now excel in.


The business desk consist of six reporters, including a part-timer, who cover technology, retail, energy, insurance, banking, economics, real estate, manufacturing, transportation and consumer issues. Unlike many newspapers, the Times-Dispatch produces a widely-read Monday business section, Metro Business. It contains a center cover story on a regional business-related issue and is filled with events for the coming week, advice columnists and gadget reviews. In June 2006, the decision was made to remove the stock tables from the daily sections beginning July 15 and replace the numerous pages with a "Markets Review" section for subscribers who request it. Many newspapers have done this, as most consumers get their stock information online. The stock section was eliminated in 2009, as was the Sunday Real Estate section (both were cost-cutting moves). The Sunday Business section, which previously was a showcase of general business-interest stories and features, has been rechristened Moneywise and now features primarily consumer-related coverage. Moneywise is also among select Sunday business sections nationwide that print Wall Street Journal Sunday pages.

Columnists and editors

  • The Rev. A.P. Bailey ("Our Daily Bread")
  • Peter Bacqué (transportation, weather news)
  • John Reid Blackwell(tobacco, manufacturing)
  • Mark Bowes(crime)
  • Rex Bowman(environment)
  • Vic Dorr Jr. (sports)
  • Gregory J. Gilligan (deputy business editor)
  • Steve Trosky(Sports editor)
  • Carol Hazard(Real estate editor)
  • A. Barton Hinkle (Senior Editorial Writer)
  • Will Jones(city news, Powhatan County)
  • Juan Antonio Lizama(Hispanic culture, Hanover)
  • Bill Lohmann(Food)
  • Bill McKelway(features)
  • Olympia Meola(Henrico County)
  • John O'Connor(sports)
  • David Ress(city news)
  • Melissa Ruggieri (Music critic)
  • Jeff E. Schapiro (Virginia Politics)
  • Arthur Utley(golf)
  • Tyler Whitley(politics)
  • Michael Paul Williams(columnist)
  • Paul Woody(sports)

Syndicated columnists

See also


  1. ^ "2007 Top 100 Daily Newspapers in the U.S. by Circulation" (PDF). BurrellesLuce. 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2007-05-30.  
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links

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