33. Thomas A. Silvestri 

Richmond Times-Dispatch Publisher

OK, so it’s a little disappointing that the publisher of the biggest, most influential newspaper in town seems more interested in promoting biking trails and issuing indiscernible platitudes about innovation than taking on the grittier, underlying problems that sear this city. The paper continues to struggle financially, but in May the T-D promoted the well-liked Danny Finnegan, who oversaw digital content, as editor to replace Glenn Proctor, which should help morale. And Silvestri’s town hall forums are an important community outlet. As chairman of the Greater Richmond Chamber, Silvestri has become the go-to cheerleader for the mayor and the corporate big boys. But what they really need is a watchdog, not an advocate.

2010 Ranking: 46

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