Ownership Change, New Editor at The Hook

Two years after The Hook and C-Ville Weekly merged their parent companies, founder Hawes Spencer is selling his shares and stepping down as editor. Senior Editor Courteney Stuart, a founding staffer at the publication, will become the new editor, effective January 1. In contrast with the acrimonious 2002 split that calved The Hook from C-Ville Weekly, this is by all accounts a friendly parting of ways, with Spencer off for new opportunities. In a phone conversation with Spencer this morning, he expressed confidence in Stuart, and is clearly enthusiastic about seeing his newspaper continue after his eleven-year time at the helm.

19 Responses to “Ownership Change, New Editor at The Hook


  • And journalism in this town just died with a whimper not a bang. Cue the Cville gutting the Hook in 2013 by summer if not sooner.

  • Congratulations to Courteney! Job well done for many years, new position well deserved.

  • @Trees Down. Out of curiosity, why would the C-ville now gut The Hook? Certainly the latter seems to operate from a substantially stronger position right now, just in terms of reputation, strength of reporting, etc.
    But maybe there’s some subtext I don’t know.

  • I attribute the outstanding journalism at the Hook to Hawes Spencer .
    We will have to wait and see if a smaller news staff under new leadership will continue the excellent reporting we have come to expect .
    CvilleWeekly is all about the advertisers and not a news paper .

  • Coming soon: The Chookville Daily.

    Then it will merge with Crime Times and Echo and we will all be able to read rants about how Coran Capshaw was arrested trying to harmonically converge with the Sons of Bill’s new restaurant that only serves patrons who wear socks and sandals while panhandling.

    Who says this town aint exciting?

  • @City Resident,
    I mostly agree with you about the C’ville Weekly’s reporting being inferior. But J. Tobias Beard’s articles this year about Fellinis and the punk scene in the 90s (along with many others of his) were in-depth and outstanding.

    So I must defend, a bit.

  • In depth yes – investigative, hard hitting journalism – NO

  • @City Resident: Concerning advertisers…Sounds like you missed the Hook issue “Second cooling: Behind the new frozen yogurt craze” with the Sweet Frogs ad on the cover.

  • I agree the Hook has changed from the in-depth investigative journalism pre-merger with CvilleWeekly. Both papers look more similar than different, and I agree with an earlier commenter, the Hook won’t last long as a CvilleWeekly copycat.

  • Dave with Spencer gone Chapman can now erase The Hook and claim victory. So it’s Darwin or Chapman’s ego that will be to blame. The merge of the two is now not matter of if but of when . Let’s hope it’s the Hook’s website and news that survive otherwise it will be a waste of everyone’s time. I wish Ms. Stuart all the luck in the world – she’s going to need it.

  • Dust off your resumes, Hook staffers…..

  • Yea for Hawes! We have him to thank for both papers!

  • I stopped picking up either paper several years ago and check readthehook.com several times a day for any news…I for one would rather see cville fold than the hook.

  • I agree Cville’s website is an embarrassment. Does anyone know who bought Mr. Spencer’s shares in the company ? If the owners fold the Hook into Cville, and concentrate on “pleasant stories” that offend no one. Who will keep the officials in check ? That is the journalism I felt Mr. Spencer excelled at, and without him the fourth estate is that much poorer.

  • The Hook might once have been good, but now confuses sensationalism for investigation. C-Ville Weekly now does better, more thoughtful coverage of issues. Compare their coverage of the Huguely trial.

  • You all sure are a pessimistic bunch. Ms. Stuart is one of the reporters who researches and writes the in-depth articles that make The Hook such a great news source. So I have no reason to believe she’ll bring significant changes for the worst to the paper. Congratulations to her, and best of luck to Hawes in his new ventures.

  • I am sure Courteney Stuart will do an excellent job. Hawes and his reporters were a tight excellent team that brought us the local news that mattered, in true old fashioned boots on the street fashion.
    What concerns me is they will now have one less reporter, and Ms. Stuart will have administrative duties as well . Sadly, this is a sign of the times, with news departments shrinking all over the country and it is the citizens and the oversight of our government that suffers.

    I wish Hawes success in whatever he undertakes next and I wish Courteney, Lisa, and Dave all the best

    Hawes created an amazing award winning weekly and my hope is it will live a long and prosperous life.

  • CityResident, according to C-VILLE, he sold them “back to the Charlottesville Publishing Group, which owns The Hook’s parent company, Better Publications, and C-VILLE Weekly’s parent company C-VILLE Holdings.”

  • I have friends on both sides – CVille Weekly & The Hook. Unfortunately, The Hook will fall way of the sword and few of its employees/reporters will keep their jobs.

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