Virginia news updates you should know about

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The Hodges team regularly engages journalists across Virginia. Here are some recent Virginia news developments you should know about in your earned media relations outreach.

New online outlets

Last month, several former Roanoke Times staffers launched The Cardinal News, an online investigative outlet covering Southwest and Southside Virginia. Longtime Roanoke Times opinions editor Dwayne Yancey is serving as the site’s editor, which will provide in-depth coverage of politics, the economy and culture. Sign up for the website’s newsletter to stay up to date.  

Henri Gendreau, another previous Roanoke Times reporter, started The Roanoke Rambler in September as well. The Roanoke Rambler is a subscription-based weekly newsletter and website that provides local investigative news, as well as literary submissions. Subscriptions start at $8.33 per month.

Meanwhile, Lee Enterprises recently introduced En Forme magazine, a print and online outlet. En Forme features statewide profiles on food, fashion, arts and travel. Clay Barbour is the editor.

Changes to Opinion pages

With Yancey’s departure, the Roanoke Times recently announced Mike Allen as opinion editor. Allen has been a reporter with the paper for 12 years.

Opinion editor Pam Stallsmith left the Richmond Times-Dispatch in August. Stallsmith helped create the RTD Opinion’s Community Advisory Board, a diverse group of readers who offer insights to the team, and established a process where the RTD team signs editorials to promote transparency. A new opinion editor has not been named.

Update (11/4/21): Lisa Vernon-Sparks, formerly with Daily Press and Virginian-Pilot, will serve as Opinions Editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch alongside Associate Editor Chris Gentilviso.

The Daily Press and Virginian-Pilot in Hampton Roads merged in 2018 under Tribune Publishing. While there are two separate papers published daily, the Opinion pages are the same.

Stories more likely to migrate

There are 20 daily newspapers in Virginia – 11 of the outlets are owned by Lee Enterprises. Stories published in one Lee newspaper are likely to republish in other network outlets, especially online. We see this with Opinions and Editorials as well.

Final thoughts: Subscribe

Support local journalism. If you have the capability, please consider purchasing a subscription to your local newspaper. Since we regularly pitch journalists throughout Virginia, we subscribe to multiple papers. Reading the e-editions is a helpful way to understand local trends and dynamics.

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Cameron McPherson

Cameron builds strategic communication campaigns that increase awareness and build public support. His familiarity with Virginia’s local markets helps clients navigate and understand complex and emerging issues. He frequently assists new companies, restaurants and other organizations launch in the Richmond market through public relations tactics.

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