Member News (1/10/19): Former RTD editorial editor dies; Pilot, Daily Press impacted by malware attack; Pilot launches new feature for readers and more

By |2019-01-10T19:02:11+00:00January 10th, 2019|
Former RTD editorial page editor dies

Todd A. Culbertson, former editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial pages who retired in 2017, died Monday of an apparent heart attack.

Culbertson, 68, was a native of southern California and began his career in Virginia newspapers at the Richmond News-Leader in 1976. In 1992 when the News-Leader merged RTD, Culbertson joined RTD’s editorial department. He was named editor of the editorial pages in 2006, after serving in numerous roles at the paper in years prior.

Culbertson, who was known for his “pithy wit and bow ties,” was an avid proponent of books, ballet, opera and NASCAR. Later in his life, he became active in church, becoming an Episcopalian at 58. He served as the daily prayer leader for the Morning Prayer at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

“Todd Culbertson was a gifted writer, a good Christian and devout Episcopalian, a lover of people and the refined arts, a relentless storyteller, an affable presence, and an amiable soul,” RTD’s editorial board wrote. “He was an old-school newspaperman, possessed by insatiable curiosity, a compulsion to share what he’d learned, and a talent for original language.”

Pilot, Daily Press affected by malware attack

The Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press were two of many Tribune Publishing newspapers that were recently impacted by a malware attack aimed at disrupting the production of its newspapers around the country. The attack occurred right before New Year’s.

The source of the virus is still unknown, but Tribune officials have said they are investigating where it originated and “making progress” in restoring lingering production issues. At the Pilot and Daily Press, the virus caused paid death notices and classified ads to not appear in the print editions of the papers. Websites and mobile applications were not affected by the malware.

“The malware created a lot of inconveniences for our staffs, some of which we are still ironing out,” the Daily Press editorial board wrote. “We are proud of our staff members who got the papers out under difficult circumstances, and we sincerely apologize to the readers who are still looking for obituaries and other important information.”

The Pilot and Daily Press were still able to get their papers out despite the attack. Other papers were not as fortunate. The Sun Sentinel in South Florida was not able to get its paper to press in time because of the attack, missing a publication day.

No data was compromised as part of the attack, Tribune officials said.

Pilot launches new series to introduce reporters to readers

The Virginian-Pilot has launched a new Facebook series to help introduce its reporters to readers.

“Behind the Byline” launched last week with Pilot reporter Ana Ley serving as the guest reporter and social media editor for the Pilot, Jakon Hays, serving as the Q&A moderator.

“It’s important for our audience to see that the journalists, photographers, editors, digital producers (etc.) are members of the community and not just a name on a story/photo or a twitter “@” delivering quick news bites,” Hays said.

In the interview, Hays asked Ley several questions about her day-to-day work, her schedule and more. Viewers were then able to ask Ley questions through comments about her job and some of the stories she’s produced while covering the Portsmouth area.

Hays said the Pilot will aim to do a live Q&A every-other-week going forward.

Northern Va. paper changes its name; hires new managing editor

The Prince William/Gainesville Times has changed its name to “The Prince William Times.”
In addition to the name change, the paper has also named Jill Palermo as its new managing editor.

Roanoke Times hires new reporter

The Roanoke Times has has hired Sam Wall as its new reporter to cover Pulaski, Radford, and Radford University. Wall previously worked as an editor for Virginia Media newspapers, which includes the Salem-Times Register, News-Messenger in Christiansburg, the Vinton Messenger and others. He is on Twitter @parforthecours.

Fincastle Herald editor retires; new editor named

Edwin McCoy, who served as editor of the Fincastle Herald for more than 30 years, has retired from the paper.

His replacement is Aila Boyd, 25, a Patrick County native who has worked in both education and newspapers during her career.