So long, RVA

Thank you for being a friend.

Well y’all, I’ve got some bad news. Next week, after almost a decade of local newsing, I’ll be shutting down RVANews.

That’s some sad news right there, but it’s some true news.

What do you say in a public goodbye that’s not super cliche and boring? I’m not sure, and I’m not sure avoiding cliches is even possible. So, with that in mind, now prepare yourself for the RVANews version of the part at the end of The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy tells everyone how great they are and how much she’ll miss them all. 

And it’s true. I really will miss working with all of the incredibly talented folks that made RVANews possible. 

Richard has been at the front of Richmond’s community news scene since the very beginning of time. Without him and his incredible willingness to work with me and my crazy ideas, none of this would probably ever have happened. I can’t imagine local news without him, and doubt I will have to–the guy can’t stop covering the ins and outs of Richmond’s neighborhoods. Also, he writes the best headlines of any person in town.

Lauren’s extremely hard work over the last forever has kept the lights on and put RVANews in a position to do what we do and do it while paying our bills. She took a risk on a young, desperately unproven news website, and I’m very thankful for that. She’s grown our book of business over time to include basically every company in Richmond. It’s been impressive to watch.

Shoutout to our events calendar maven, Autumn! The blood and sweat she’s poured into the RVANews calendar over the years would fill multiple growlers.

It’d be impossible to enumerate through all of the freelancers we’ve worked with over the years–impossible because the number is truly uncountable. When I look back over our archives, it’s like looking through a Who’s Who of smart, funny, Richmonders that I wish I hung out with more. Thank you guys for making up the fleshy bits of what we do here (gross).

Susan is my best friend, my pal, and my confidant. She was with me the night–at a booth in Ipanema, where all great ideas begin–I first talked about starting something like RVANews. If I’m being honest, the whole thing was probably her idea anyway. She’s been there to filter all my dumb ideas, celebrate each success, and encourage me when things looked bleak. She’s steered the direction of RVANews in a totally not-creepy, not-Rasputiny way since the very, very beginning. My biggest regret is not bringing her on in an official capacity sooner. She’s the smartest and funniest person I’ve ever worked with / known in real life. I just googled the lyrics to “Thank You For Being a Friend” and started crying.

The theme here is that I’ve surrounded myself with great people that, despite all of my nonsense, made it possible to do cool things. Together, sometimes we made a difference.

Our regularly scheduled content will run through Friday, and RVANews The Website will stay up for as long as I can manage it. There’s a lot of Richmond’s history in there, and it’d be a shame to lose it all. You can read below for a couple of my anticipated FAQs.

So…I think that’s it, you guys. I’m very proud that I was part of making something that you guys, all of our readers, thought was a cool place to come hangout. Now, let’s move those hangouts to real life and maybe add in a few beers? If you have any other questions, you can find me on Twitter as @rosscatrow. Feel free to ask away!


— ∮∮∮ —

Wait, what?

Yeah, crazy, right? RVANews will cease to function as it currently does this coming Friday, June 10th, 2016.

What the heck happened, you guys?

A bunch of things. The short-term thing is that our one-woman sales machine was offered and accepted a great opportunity elsewhere. Longer term: We struck out on a couple of attempts to grow our sales machine beyond the one, very hard-working woman.

Well, just hire a new dang person!

Unfortunately, there’s just not enough cash floating around to get us through hiring another person, bringing that person up to speed, and then having that person start crushing the ad sales.

I’m a rich business mogul and would like to throw an obscene amount of cash at you to continue your small, local news website.


What are all the RVANewsers going to do now?

I’m not sure, but you should totally ask them! They’re all very wonderful and would probably love chatting with you.

What are you going to do now?

I have no idea! For the longest time, my identity has been wrapped up in this website. It’s strange to imagine a world where that is not the case–it’s almost like I’ve small-businessed myself out of actual, employable skill sets. 

If you have any great ideas for the future of my life, please let me know!

But, but, but, what about <insert your favorite column name>?

A small piece of good news: Good Morning, RVA will continue unabated. I’ve found it to be very rewarding, so I’m gonna keep doing it.

Other than that, though, who knows! I don’t want to commit to anything, but you know how sometimes I just can’t not write about busses, or bikes, or education, or City Council…

As for our other authors, you should 100% definitely reach out to them (especially if you’re an editor in town!) and drop them a kind word.

  • error

    Report an error

Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. ;.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    Thank you for doing this for so long though!

  2. Bradley Robb on said:
  3. Ansley on said:

    This is crushing to hear. RVANews has been phenomenal and my go-to place for all news Richmond. The EDU FAQ series was one of my favorites (Teresa Cole rocks!) and loved the forum last week. Thank you for the outstanding work, you will be greatly missed!

  4. BOPST on said:

    Thanks for everything.

  5. karen on said:

    I am really going to miss this

  6. Nick P on said:

    We are losing a pretty valuable news source. Sad day :(

    Best of luck to all of you!

  7. Richard R on said:

    Ross, busses, bikes, city council and education were wonderfully covered by RVA news. Hopefully this city is becoming mature enough that your favorite topics are where some real economic/community development happens!

  8. Thank you to Ross, Valerie, Susan, Lauren, Richard and everyone else involved. RVANews made a very positive impact on Richmond. As a long-time member of Richmond media, I’m sad to see a quality, non-corporate community voice vanish. I’m grateful to you for the news you covered that many larger media outlets thought they were too important to cover.

  9. Linda on said:

    So sad to hear this! You were my go to every morning for local news that mattered and thoughtful reads.

  10. Laura on said:

    Thank you so much for all that you have done to grow RVA News into what it is today. I have found it to be the best source for local news and culture around. Also…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

  11. Bryan on said:

    Sorry to hear it. I’ve been a reader since day one, and I’m very much going to miss this from my daily reading. Good luck to everyone in your new adventures.

  12. mercedes kale on said:

    Seriously heartbroken to see you guys are closing up shop. Good Morning, RVA is the first thing I look for in my inbox every morning and I feel like I am losing actual friends! I share y’all’s articles with friends in Richmond and as far away as Alaska. The witty, conversational writing style, content, headlines and leads, and inside scoop on the city are unmatched. RVAnews is a treasure that we will all miss and I can’t imagine the rest of this election season (local and national!) without your coverage.
    All the best to you all!

  13. Scott Wise on said:

    I am bummed. Thank you for being such an important voice in the community.

  14. Linda on said:

    sad sad day for sure….

  15. Jeff H on said:

    Thanks for all you’ve done, Ross. Thanks for answering my e-mails about RSS feeds. Best wishes for whatever the next stage of the journey will be.

    The FAQ didn’t mention the community pages. Will those be shutting down as well?

  16. Angie on said:

    Thank you guys for all your hard work!

  17. Keli on said:

    Sad to hear this news! RVANews is my place to go for news! I’m always pointing people here! Glad to hear the “Good Morning, RVA” will still be available! It’s the first thing I read every morning!

  18. Eric Drumheller on said:

    Hahaha. April Fools. You totally had me in June. Huge loss for RVA.

  19. As a (former) fellow RVA blogger the hard work on everyone’s part isn’t lost on me. I hope that, as I have, you’ll all find cool, new, magical Windows opening as this door closes.

  20. Susan Ann J. Glass on said:

    Will sorely miss you and this fine news source. Best of luck in your next venture and I’ll continue to read Good Morning, RVA . Thanks for all you’ve done!

  21. Arthur on said:

    “OBSCENE AMOUNT OF CASH AT YOU TO CONTINUE YOUR SMALL, LOCAL NEWS WEBSITE”… maybe this is part of the problem… as much as I love your site… does it really take an obscene amount of cash to run a small local news website? Couldn’t you go non-profit and use volunteers to manage some of the content, like wikipedia does or something. I have appreciated the local news stories and recognition that you have provided and would hope to see this not be the end of RVAnews.

  22. Very sad news. This has been an invaluable source of great news, community awareness, and lively discussion. You will *ALL* be missed.

  23. Cat on said:

    I will miss RVANews! What a great run. I’ve loved the site.

  24. Tracy on said:

    What Phil said and more. Although I didn’t always agree with some of the opinions offered, I found the content relevant, honest, and refreshing. A special shoutout to Autumn from someone who spent more than a few years trying to corral RVA events for a local mag. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

  25. Ellen on said:

    I’m crushed! You guys are awesome for all the reasons many people have noted. Very much hoping that a new entity or opportunity comes your way, and allows you to do the important community work your website has always provided. Also the fun. All the fun.

  26. W Rowan on said:

    Ross, You and the entire tribe need to take a very large bow for your service, effort and impact. I still read RVA News on occasion even though I moved out of state two years ago. A great source for what is really going on. Best of luck.

  27. Thomas N on said:

    This isn’t happening. Must be a bad dream. That’s fine I’ll wake up soon and things will be normal. This always happens

  28. Liz Pearce on said:

    The positive impact you have made and left with Richmonders won’t be forgotten. It’s been great to get a glimpse of such great talent, and I hope we’ll be hearing more from each of you in various formats. Kudos to all the staff, volunteers, and leaders of RVANews!

  29. It’s been fun. This website is one of the greatest things RVA has ever had, and it was run by great people.

  30. Reb & Yank on said:

    RVANews was one of my first, favorite, and most informative introductions to our new home in Richmond when we relocated to Virginia almost three years ago . . . Thanks, farewell, and y’all will be much missed!

  31. William Benn on said:

    Love the M.A.S H. reference. Thanks for all the great news over the years. You should hit up John from Church Hill Peoples News and launch a huge Rva News broken down into neighborhoods

  32. Lisa Cumbey on said:

    Wow. It is amazing what an extraordinary impact a small, talented group of people can have. Richmond has completely come to count on you guys, and it’s just not right that there isn’t enough money to pay for such good work. I do really hope someone with resources might step in and fund it, and help guide it. No journalistic endeavor is going to make “obscene amounts of money,” but a fair wage should be obtainable from a community that loves you.

  33. Sara on said:

    Best of luck to everyone at RVANews! You guys are AWESOME!

  34. Chris Harrison on said:

    Thanks for doing a great job, and for producing something that celebrated Richmond. I hope that there is a way to transition the ownership to someone who can take your inspiration and output to the next level.

  35. TheCheckoutGirl on said:

    Remember RVABlogs? What a long, strange trip it’s been. Thank you for being my family. Love you dudes.

  36. Susan Martin on said:

    Ross and RVANews folk, I am so very sad to read this! Monthly subscriptions maybe? There’s gotta be a way! Your professional journalism wrapped in friendliness made RVANews my first pick for local news. Rats!

  37. Michael Lease on said:

    You’ve done a bang-up job, thanks.

  38. Jeremy on said:

    Why has no one started a kickstarter to help fund these guys (I’m lazy, but certainly someone else is more motivated). This is my go-to site for local information.

  39. Jim Roark on said:

    I’ve been a twice daily distant reader for about 4 months and it is distressing to hear this bad news. I’ve really enjoyed the morning and evening additions and haven’t a clue as to what will fill the void your departure will create in my daily routine.
    All the best to everyone who has had a hand in RVAnews. May your career searches yield plentiful and meaningful fruit.

  40. Steve on said:

    I hope RVA media hasn’t seen the last of Ross Catrow. Thank you for all you guys at RVANews gave us.

  41. Lydia on said:

    I would have paid for a subscription. This has been extremely valuable for the city and I will really miss it.

  42. Whit on said:

    Really sorry to see this site ending a great run. A lot of great and influential content came out of here.

  43. Aww guys I’m so sorry to hear this. The small business struggle is so real y’all.

  44. Thank you, thank you. I should have said that more. RVA News opened my day. I looked forward to the humor, information, photographs, reporting – oh, everything. Wow, am I ever going to miss you.

  45. Nicole on said:

    RVANews is one of the first websites I found when researching Richmond before moving here eight years ago (the first time). I am really sad to hear it’s shutting down. It’s always been a part of my Richmond experience and I will greatly miss it.

  46. Barbara Howson on said:

    I just heard about your sad news. I know Susan and all the rest of you have put heart and soul into RVANews. That’s what made it unique, fresh, honest, and a joy to read. I wish you all good things to come.

  47. Thanks for your many years of service to the community.

  48. R. Dotson on said:

    I wish I were a wealthy business mogul because those obscene amounts of money would be yours without question. I actually teared up a little at the news — and I didn’t even cry at my own wedding!

  49. Karen Long on said:

    This is the first information site I refer people to when they are seeking information about Richmond. As a transplant to the area, RVA news has been an invaluable, reliable and entertaining resource to me and my family for many years now. I am so sorry to hear this news. All of the staff should feel proud of their contributions to our fair city. Losing RVA news will leave a big void. I cannot help but wish for a miracle to keep you afloat. Thank you for all that you do and have done.

  50. Christopher Sol on said:

    Tragic! We rely on you above all other local sites. Who can possibly follow in your enormous shoes?? Good luck on your next big steps. We will miss you.

  51. Patrice Harmon on said:

    Y’all made the move to Richmond easy–finding great places to go, fun things to do, and learning about the local happenings. Have enjoyed reading the past few years and will sincerely miss this excellent resource. (Is it too late to do a NPR-esque pledge drive? Most of us don’t have obscene amounts of money but might have a bit to spare each month that could add up.)

    Thanks for what you’ve done to help this awesome city be that much more fantastic.

  52. Sherri Johnson on said:

    Good luck, all, with new endeavors – RVANews will indeed be missed!

  53. Louiekablooie on said:

    Thanks Ross. I enjoyed your site.

  54. Larry Hedgepeth on said:

    Thanks for several years of free, unbiased news reporting and valuable information.

  55. Jason on said:

    Really really bummed to see you guys go. We need independent, non-corporate sources of news and information like this!

  56. Chris Banks on said:

    Rvanews has been a pillar of the community and will leave a void not easily filled. I can’t even begin to catalog the different ways rvanews has enriched my life. I will especially miss the long form articles that have spurred civic engagement and bettered our public discourse. Your work will be missed.

  57. Tom Campagnoli on said:

    Thanks for all the years of hard work. RVA News will be missed by many in the community and leave quite a void.

  58. Sarah Fought on said:

    Love y’all!

  59. Brett on said:

    I go to this site everyday and am sad to see it go. It is the best place for exactly the news I wanted to read about Richmond. Thanks for the time y’all put in.

  60. Hamooda on said:

    I’d just signed a lease on a space for my next bar concept in Carytown. I had a plan for the layout, the theme, the name, etc. The only thing I was missing was the ENTIRE food program, a pretty key ingredient to a restaurant one would say. That’s when I stumbled across an RVANews article on the impending closing of Nate’s Taco Truck Stop, an article that almost seemed to be written directly to me. The subject of the piece was at that time a complete stranger, but his passion and character were clear — now he’s a dear friend and business partner. Simply put, without that piece, Don’t Look Back would not exist as it does today. Countless thanks to your whole team and best of luck in all of your future endeavors!

  61. So sad to see RVANews go! I’ve been a daily reader for years, and was so thankful for the site when I moved away from RVA to CT and then to DC. It was a perfect place to catch up on the happenings in my favorite city and to satisfy any qualms of homesickness. Best of luck to all of you!

  62. Steve Dickerson on said:

    Thank you for the great job and years of good reporting on the lighter, fun, less hard-hitting side of the news in Richmond. Not that your stories weren’t news, but that yo9u provided a forum for the things of interest to the everyday person of RVA beyond the headlines and sensation of those other Hard News sites. Thanks for all the goings-on’s and restaurant reviews, the what’s happening where and the back stories of the city we all love. You told us of what was happening when and where and why we should be interested. The big media sites reported on what happened when and why you should have been there. What I missed it? You will be missed.

  63. Chris OBrion on said:

    I got such a lurch when I read this, and obviously I’m not alone. Thank you for being a force for good in Richmond, Virginia, during such a pivotal time in the life of the region. You set a standard for what local grassroots-information could be in an age when that continues to be a giant question mark in the sky.

    I also want to thank you for the venue and support you provided for my local cartoons a few years ago; it was something I wanted to do (and want to return to) and RVANews gave me the chance.

    I have zero doubt that y’all will continue to be involved in the life of the city and region, so it will be fun to watch and see what that is.

  64. Michael Welch on said:

    Fuck This. Save RVANews. There is no way to survive independently as a small biz in America. Capitalism is dead, time for #Socialism to fix the mess. Support your community.

  65. Andy Edmunds on said:

    This makes me sad. Smart, funny and insightful writing I actually looked forward to receiving in my inbox everyday. Best wishes to all of you RVAers… I know there will be a new outlet for your creative energy. Richmond needs you!

  66. Susan on said:

    I join the chorus of others saying how much you’ll be missed. I went to your email first thing in the morning. Oh, I’ll miss your perspective.

  67. Tinga Mastrelli on said:

    Hi Ross, We’ve only been in Richmond for 11 months but I got so used to reading RVANews that I feel bereft at the thought that you are closing up shop! We will miss you so very much. It has been so nice to be so warmly welcomed by you and your crew each morning. I so wish we could do something to keep you going. We are (tiny) Patreon supporters, but I guess that’s just not enough in this crazy world. We love Richmond but it just won’t be the same without you to cheer us on. We wish you only the best and that will happen, because you all are intelligent, funny, observant, inventive, creative, motivating and passionate.
    And wow, does this town need you!

  68. Matt on said:

    Oh No! Man, I love this site. Visit it every day. You will be greatly missed RVANews. You guys performed a wonderful service for the city with this site and wish you all the best going forward. Thanks!

  69. MattOnFire on said:

    Lots of good reading and discussion on this hugely important community site. Will miss you and will fondly look back on the people I met and stayed in touch with through these articles, in some form or another.

  70. Kevin on said:

    Your news is the kind that matters in this community.. a great read every day.. you will be missed. Thank you!!

  71. Mair on said:

    Oh, Ross! I’m so sorry. I love RVA news and will be sorry to see it go. I remember we always looked to you on how to do local right. (I can’t say we always did it right, but we tried.) Your product is smart, and the POV is always on point.

    In truth, Lauren is a beast—and if she was integral at keeping the lights on, then selfishly I’m glad you had her in your corner. RVANews will be missed.

  72. emily lockhart on said:

    Oh NO!! I’m crushed. RVANews was one of my main lifelines into so much of the important (and cool) stuff happening in this great little city.

    Ross, I sure hope you know how sorely missed this site will be. You and your team have been pioneers and great examples of how to do local news right.

    BURNING QUESTION #1: Have you all considered some sort of subscription model, where folks could pay a small monthly fee to access the site?
    BURNING QUESTION #2: If the answer to the above is No, will all the site’s content be archived someplace? (I’ve yet to tackle a lot of the Education FAQs, etc.!! )

    At the very least, I’m relieved to hear that Good Morning, RVA will continue! Not sure I could face a workday morning without your breezy, entertaining — but always honest and informative — writing.

    In the meantime, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING.

  73. Chris on said:

    Going to miss the picture of the day – along with my cup of coffee, I got each day started with your creative picture that illustrated why I love RVA. Best of luck and Thank you!

  74. Ian on said:

    If a subscription model isn’t tenable (for whatever reason – that’s your decision to make), then I really think a Kickstarter campaign is in order (if you and everyone else on the staff haven’t decided to move on with finality).

    You guys are the best and will be sorely missed. Thank you.

  75. Teresa Cole on said:

    Some one end this bad dream. Please. This can’t end. Even before I wrote for Ross and Susan (like starting a few months ago) I was a reader and admirer. RVA is taking a HUGE HIT if we let this thing go. SOMEONE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY MAKE THEM STAY OPEN!!!!!!! I’ll write for free. I’ll corral ads. I’ll do all the things. Please…**weeps silently in the corner**

  76. Austin Welder on said:

    I never missed a day reading this and was always the better for it. Thanks for all the hard work, you made your city a better place to live-

  77. Richard Day on said:

    WTH!!! Very sad and shocked to hear this. You were my source for old Bopst Show episodes; the events calendar; political info; weather (funny); neighborhood news; and so much more. Will miss you RVANews!

  78. I’ll miss RVA News for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I was SO looking forward to your coverage of our ridiculously congested mayoral election. I was looking forward to the edgy truth-telling (with just a hint of good-natured snark) we could rely on you to provide.

  79. Not much to add except that I also will mourn the loss of RVA News. Maybe the shock factor makes it hurt more? I don’t know you guys, but I feel like I do because I’ve been reading the site for years. And I think that’s a pretty good compliment, right?

  80. Teresa on said:

    Arthur – hyperbole is the best literary device, dude. ;)

  81. Amy on said:

    I’m so sad!! This was my daily resource for things going on around town. I read things here I never saw anywhere else. The site will be missed!!!

  82. This website will be greatly missed!!!!

  83. I’ve been away from Richmond for 3 years, but checking RVA news several times a week has kept me feeling connected to my hometown. Thank you all for the care that went into this website. Sending positive vibes across the mountains.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Or report an error instead