new journalism, rationalizedPeople frequently buttonhole me about why The Virginia Gazette is declining. Corporate guidance explains a lot. This is why I took up sailing. –Capt. Bill


  1. Emphasize the digital website as timely and relevant. Print is dead.
  2. Substitute the idea of genuine news with “content.” More catchy.
  3. Jettison experienced reporters and editors. They’re too costly.
  4. Hire low-pay rookies with no institutional knowledge. Fresh minds.
  5. Better yet, hire freelancers and part-timers. No health benefits.
  6. Encourage news releases and print verbatim. No controversy.
  7. Cover local meetings verbatim without any context. Objective facts.
  8. Fill pages with grip-and-grin group photos. Free content.
  9. Shun investigative reporting altogether. Too time-consuming.
  10. Pursue fluffy feature stories, especially animals. People love that.
  11. Cancel special sections and investigative projects. Too narrow.
  12. Ignore important news tips from the public. They’re pushing an agenda.
  13. Fire the company libel attorney as obsolete. See 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12.
  14. Reduce copyediting and allow wrong homonyms. Their okay.
  15. Make readers use automation to submit calendar items. No labor.
  16. Publish ridiculous obituaries submitted by family. They paid for it.


  1. Lie about the circulation numbers declining. Advertisers don’t care.
  2. As subscriptions expire, keep delivering. That will fool advertisers.
  3. Ignore the rate card and let advertisers pay whatever. We’re flexible.
  4. Don’t give any raises to anyone, ever. You’re lucky to have a job.
  5. As someone leaves, abolish the job. Others will take up the slack.
  6. Automate the front-desk receptionist. Customer service is overrated.
  7. Route circulation inquiries to the Philippines. Cheaper labor.
  8. Automate Human Resources overseas. Employees need to buck up.
  9. Sell the office building. Let everyone work from their car.

Let’s go sail

Check rates and pick a day for a sailboat charter. See reviews on Trip Advisor from sailors like you. 

More from the Captain...

Danger Sails

Danger Sails

A couple from metro Richmond returned for another sail and brought friends with them. Donna Ludwig recalled the last time she and Buddy went sailing. “It was with my brother-in-law on his sailboat, slightly smaller than this, say 27 feet. It was a day like today and we had a

Full Story >

Arts Quarter Sails

Award-winning actor Glenn Close was the star of the dedication of the William & Mary Arts Quarter, a massive reconfiguration of Phi Beta Kappa Hall into a half dozen buildings interconnected. Before several hundred alumni and guests in the new PBK, Close expressed heartfelt gratitude for their support, tearing up

Full Story >
Hover Sail

Hover Sail

Three couples from Georgia, South Carolina and Maryland converged on a cool, crisp Fall day to pursue the History Cruise. But first we sailed under the Coleman Bridge to view a Navy submarine in port. Doug Boyd reluctantly took the helm, having once sailed S-28s in Annapolis. He talked of

Full Story >