The company that owns Charlottesville’s two competing weekly newspapers will close one of them later this month to save money and focus its resources on one product.
Charlottesville Publishing Group, which owns The Hook and C-Ville Weekly, among other publications, announced Friday that The Hook will cease publication after its Sept. 26 issue.
Company officials said employees of The Hook will be interviewed for jobs at C-Ville. The publications have separate editorial, business and circulation staff and separate offices.
Giles Morris, editor of C-Ville, will continue to lead the publication.
“The Hook is basically known for its news coverage and C-Ville Weekly for arts and entertainment, and we’re going to add more of the news to C-Ville,” said Bill Chapman, a partner in Charlottesville Publishing Group. “I don’t think the C-Ville Weekly needs a ton of change. I think it’s successful as it is.”
“After taking our time to look at it from nearly every angle, we came to the conclusion that the best way to serve the community was to combine the papers,” said Blair Kelly, a partner in the parent company. “We think the decision is the best way forward from both a business and an editorial perspective.”
Company officials said they are unsure how many employees of The Hook will lose their jobs.
C-Ville Weekly was founded in 1989. The Hook was founded in 2002 by former C-Ville editor and co-founder Hawes Spencer. The two papers joined under one ownership in 2011.
Since 2002, The Hook has won nearly 150 Virginia Press Association awards for journalism. It won the association’s top award, the Journalistic Integrity and Community Service Award, three times — in 2006, 2008 and 2012.
Employees at the papers were told of the decision Thursday.
“I’m grateful that I’ve had this job. There aren’t many newspapers where reporters have the chance and freedom to pursue the stories that truly interest them,” Courteney Stuart, editor of The Hook, said Friday.
“I was one of the first employees at The Hook nearly 12 years ago and it’s been a dream job,” Stuart said. “Hopefully, there will be more good years to come.”