The Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD or TD for short) is the primary daily newspaper in Richmond, Virginia the capital of Virginia, 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
, Colonial Heights
, 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
has existed in some form for over 100 years. In 1850, a newspaper called the Richmond Dispatch
was founded. In 1886, 36 years later, 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
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
Tacky Christmas lights tour
In 1990, The RTD
borrowed an idea
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
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 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 and cut pages and combined sections - that have yet to come. The newspaper's management declined to comment in the piece.
On July 31, 2006, the TD'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.
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. This has led some liberals in the area to call the paper "the Times-Disgrace." 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 recent editorial called for the 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
, 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 pages consist of seven reporters covering topics such as technology, retail, energy, insurance, banking, economics, real estate, manufacturing, tobacco and transportation. 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 Markets Review section for subscribers who request it. Many newspapers have done this, as most consumers get their stock information online.
The Metro section consists of several reporters covering the area. Metro also contains a religion reporter and college and university reporter. The state desk has a political team as well as health, science and prisons beats.
Columnists and Editors