Member News (5/16/19): A paper goes from daily to twice weekly, Virginia Business has a new editor and the Daily Progress gets a new website

By |2019-05-16T19:08:46+00:00May 16th, 2019|

Southwest Times goes from daily to weekly

The Southwest Times, Pulaski County’s 112-year-old daily newspaper, has stopped publishing daily and will now publish twice-weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays. The change took effect this past Sunday, May 12.

General Manager of the Times, Vanessa Repass, said the decision was a difficult one but one that the paper had been facing down for a while.

“We have been resisting this change for years, although virtually every newspaper in smaller markets like ours made the jump to a less-than-daily print cycle years ago,” Repass said.

David Gravely, editor at the Times, said the decision boiled down to two things: listening to readers and costs.

Gravely said the paper had really only ever received one consistent complaint from readers. And that was that the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday editions of the paper were too thin at eight pages.

The issue of thinness will be addressed now with the switch to twice-weekly publication, Gravely said. The paper will have the goal of delivering a more robust 16-page edition on Wednesdays and a 24-page edition each Sunday to readers.

Also with the switch to twice-weekly publication, the paper will reduce its overhead costs by now only having two editions in production each week rather five, he said.

“This final major change will put us on a level playing field with other publications when it comes to expenses. ” Gravely said. “Our product has gotten plenty of positive feedback from not just our readers and subscribers, but also from our owners group, so we’re confident in our content.”

Subscription rates will be lowered and current subscribers will receive pro-rata basis. The Sunday edition of the paper will be delivered to subscribers via USPS on Saturday.

Repass said the change in publication frequency ensures that Pulaski County “will continue to be served by a strong, local and independent newspaper that is determined to remain the primary information source for this area.”

Virginia Business names new editor

Virginia Business has named Richmond-area journalist Richard Foster as its next editor.

Foster will assume the role beginning May 28. He succeeds longtime Virginia Business editor, Robert Powell. Powell is retiring after more than 40 years in the industry with 15 of those years spent as the editor at Virginia Business. He will remain at the magazine during the transition in an advisory role.

“Virginia Business will always be in debt to Robert Powell for his many years of great editorial leadership at the magazine,” said Virginia Business Publisher Bernie Niemeier. “We are equally delighted to welcome someone with Richard Foster’s demonstrated talent, magazine experience and statewide reporting excellence to our staff.”

Foster has worked in journalism as an editor, reporter and freelancer over the past 25 years. He served as the executive editor at Richmond Magazine, as an assistant editor at Style Weekly and as a founding editor at Richmond.com.

Earlier in his career, he worked as a staff writer at the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Roanoke Times. He has freelanced on a regular basis over the years for a number of publications, including for Virginia Business for 13 years.

Foster is the author of the biography “The Real Bettie Page: The Truth about the Queen of Pinups,” which was adapted by HBO Films in 2006 for the movie, “The Notorious Bettie Page.” He is also the host and producer of the 2018 podcast “Southern Nightmare,” and the author of its accompanying book.

Daily Progress launches new website

The Daily Progress launched a new website this week.

The new site will allow for faster load times and better readability on mobile devices, according to the paper. Along with improved navigation, users will now also be able to also search by topics of interest on the site.

The Daily Progress’s community news websites for the News-Virginian, the Orange County Review, the Madison County Eagle and the Greene County Record have also been redesigned to mirror the changes made on the Progress’s site.