Community Weekly Publisher Criticizes Planned Launch of Henrico TD 

click to enlarge Henrico Citizen Publisher Tom Lappas - FILE PHOTO
  • File Photo
  • Henrico Citizen Publisher Tom Lappas

Update: Asked about the criticism, Joy Monopoli, publisher of Richmond Suburban News, emails a response:

Richmond Suburban News is a group of community weekly and monthly newspapers based in Mechanicsville. We currently have community newspapers in Hanover, Goochland, Chesterfield, Powhatan, Cumberland and King William counties that are popular with readers and advertisers alike. RSN is expanding to bring our style of hyper-local news, information and advertising solutions to the citizens and businesses of Henrico County. We look forward to covering the people, places and events that make Henrico County a great place to live and work through the pages of Henrico TD.

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The publisher of the 12-year-old community weekly the Henrico Citizen weighs in on Henrico TD, a competing weekly planning to launch in October from the company that owns the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Tom Lappas, a former Top 40 Under 40 recipient, writes in a Facebook post that he welcomes competition, but that the new publication's primary goal is "to kill us off, no matter how much money it hemorrhages in the process."

The creation of the Henrico TD, along with a rebranding of the Midlothian Exchange as Chesterfield TD, was announced earlier this week.

Here's the complete post from Lappas:

Today is the 12th anniversary of the first issue of my newspaper. I'm proud to celebrate another year in business and tremendously appreciative of all of our readers and advertisers. They're proof that community journalism is alive and well.

Somewhat ironically, the company that owns the Richmond Times-Dispatch announced two days ago that it will be starting a Henrico paper next month. Regrettably, it appears to be doing so not to enter the market as a true competitor with a solid business model, but rather – as its advertising rates make blatantly clear – with the primary goal of undercutting independent publications like mine to kill us off, no matter how much money it hemorrhages in the process. This is disappointing, but not surprising.

I may not have a newsroom full of reporters or a stable of salespeople, but our little team has worked too hard for too long to be bullied out of business, and I'm not planning to go anywhere. Sorry to disappoint you, RTD. Oh, and please cancel my Sunday subscription.

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