Spencer’s New Weekly

This week’s C-Ville Weekly reports on their split with co-owner and former editor Hawes Spencer. The story is the first public mention of Spencer’s intention to start a new local weekly newspaper (rumored to hit the stands within mere days.) It looks like things are about to get interesting in the local media.

26 Responses to “Spencer’s New Weekly”


  • I looked on the website; last weeks story, Hawes still listed as editor. Currently there are no listing for jobs to be filled. Maybe they have turn this into a memorial page. a moment frozen in time

  • Did they fire the webmaster too? Their site still hasn’t been updated to show this week’s issue. And — darn it — I’m far, far outside the distribution zone of the print copy.

  • Is this the end of C’Ville? It is deffinately the end of the C’Ville as we knew it.

    Will this Spencer fellow create a new pub that is the same old, same old? Can we expect greater things from him and his talented stable of writers and graphic folk? Can’t wait to find out. If I was spending ad dollars with the old regime I may think twice about their wholesale gutting of the editorial staff and whether they deserve my financial support. Anyhow, it’s bound to be fun for those of us who like newsprint on our fingers.

  • OK. It does seem the tabloid still has someone on staff to load up a selection of items from this week’s issue onto the website. But — darn it, again — the website is showing only other stories (e.g., Chuck Sheperd’s syndicated column!) and not the local scoop on the boardroom bloodbath.

    Anyone care to repeat here what was written in this week’s C-Ville about this matter? What’s the “official party line”?

    Please.

  • according to C-ville the only thing tha can stop it’s publication is a “stray comet”. Could there be new heavenly body on the horizon? Maybe Hawes should name his paper the comet.

    That reminds me wasn’t a comet one of the reason that lumbering cold blooded, small brained reptiles were wipe off the face of the earth.

  • I found out why the website for cville weekly hasn’t been updated. The Wedb guy I heard went to go work for Spencer’s new publication!

    Anyone know the name of this magazine yet or format? I presume it’s a weekly?

    Can’t wait to see it actually…

    TM

  • this new paper is shaping up to be most exciting.

  • Anyone else have more “scoop” to share? There are only little teasers here on this board (which seems to me like THE natural place for gossip on this topic), and certainly many folks reading this thread know more and aren’t posting.

    C’mon! It’ll be fun!

  • It is a weekly and it will be named The Hook (as in, Charlottesville is “the hook” that brings people back). Watch for its debut the first week in February.

  • Thanks. Nice gossip.

    Of course “the Hook” is also an old nickname for Charlottesville (say, back when C’ville was Ch’ville). The origin of this moniker was the apostrophe itself.

  • That’s a stretch. I’ve lived here 26 years and never heard that nickname for Charlottesville. What “The Hook” really is is a journalism term — every story needs a hook to get someone to read the article = buy the paper (or get readers and advertising $$, for a free one). And the hook in Spencer’s idea of news is always about putting somebody down. The people he’s attacked in his C-ville Weekly days, as well as those he’ll go after in the new one, will no doubt enjoy watching this new paper fail. Thank god C-Ville Weekly finally has an opportunity to become a decent paper!!

  • this new paper is shaping up to be most exciting.

    Yes, Hawes, I’m sure it is. Now quit making Anonymous comments on cvillenews.com.

    ;)

  • Well, call me a fool!

    I lived in Charlottesville from ’70 to ’96, and still return once or twice a year to see family and life-long friends — many of whom STILL refer to Ch’ville as “The Hook”.

    But, of course, the provenance of the new newspaper’s (prospective) name might well be in the journalistic use of the term, as you suggest.

    Perhaps you just traveled in different social/slang-linguistic circles during your 26 years than I did. But that this is an old nickname for Charlottesville, I am SURE.

  • Using “The Hook” as a nickname for Charlottesville is quite common. Everyone especially used it back in my days at UVa.

  • Having been a student and a townsperson for over 20 years that though not common is indeed a nickname for charlottesville. A quick web search found,”In gentleman’s parlance, a ‘Gentleman’s C’ was also referred to as a Hook. Hence Charlottesville, or C’ville, became ‘Hookville’ or just ‘The Hook’ (from The Declaration, August 1983). ” Next!

  • Maybe it should be called “the Hooker”

    A more appropriate name for a group of employees who sold out for just a few dollars more. Maybe Mr. Spencer should take the time to inform his new gang about the perils of a startup in a down economy. Or maybe he’s just too interested in setting his sights on vengance. Well at least we know that Mr. Spencer sure has has an interesting road ahead of him. It took the three owners 12-13 years to get C-VILLE as successful as it is today,. I dont think $500k and some real jealousy can do the same. Good fucking luck.

    -z

  • Touché! Even a young man such as Waldo— although I dare venture that he has never experienced the phenomenon— should know that “The Hook” is indeed a reference not only the aforementioned “Gentleman’s C,” but Charlottesville’s magnetic appeal to “bring one back,” to town. I suppose the paper’s name and its definition will be addressed in the first issue, but as an (hopefully not long) ex-Charlottesvillian, it’s obvious. I was unaware of The Dec’s reference, but that bit of townie parlance should be a requisite in the vocabulary of natives, newcomers, and C’ville exes (most, I presume unquestionably, wish to return at some date). Besides, it’s a good ditty from Blues Traveler, and an outstanding possibly a candidate for Charlottesville’s unofficial theme song. The hook, as the song goes, will bring you back. Let’s hope it’ll keep you fascinated with Charlotteville.

  • The new paper caused a lot of talent to defect, based on a specious appeal by Spencer to people’s heartstrings. But weekly journalism in this town is not a zero-sum game. There are tons of talented people who can make it happen artistically and journalistically.

    1. There will be a lot of flash and filigree from the new Hook (Step 1 was to create a convenient urban legend to explain the otherwise cliche name).

    But the same ironic yellow journalistic streak will continue, and the style that alienated many valuable sources will re-emerge. So they’ll enjoy a brief period of free access and limelight, but people will soon realize that it’s the same people behind a different name.

    2. The inertia of C-VILLE’s existing advertising structure will prove impossible to overcome. The Hook will have to specialize or die.

    3. The ultimate acid test: the new revamped C-VILLE will interview Dave before the Hook does.

  • Jealousy, PLEASE! It sounds like you are the one with a massive chip on the shoulder…what, were you left behind? Ooops, hope that didn’t hurt.

    Convenient that you omitted the fact that the reason most of the staff left was because:

    1. they thought it was BS what Rob and Bill did

    2. Hawes is the editor they want to work for

  • RE: your first point, of the creation of “urban legend” of “The Hook” name: How very clever this Hawes Spencer must be! I mean, for him to have anticipated the day would come that he’d need a name for his (new) newspaper and therefore busy himself promulgating this nickname around town some twenty years ago, at least . . . that’s a mark of utter (diabolical) genius. (Eh — was he even it town yet? Or did he set silver-tongued elves to this task?)

    RE: your point 2: you may be right, but we’ll all just have to wait and see, no? Ain’t the entrepreneurial spirit great?

    RE:your point 3: Dave’s a home-grown celebrity for sure. But certainly there is a good (perhaps majority?) share of the local market of readers for such tabloids who don’t own a DMB recording, haven’t been to a show, and couldn’t care less. So — why is that the “ultimate acid test”?

  • Yes, the longstanding use of Hook to denote C’ville must account for the preponderance of search results on the search engines for Charlottesville+hook.

    Starting from the top:

    1) In an interview with Flogging Molly, the band members note that they “hooked” up a couple years ago.

    2) There are several obstetrical hooks in a collection of artifacts unearthed at Pompeii and housed at UVA.

    Maybe not prima facie evidence, but the number of unrelated results sure backs it up. I guess there’ll be more once the paper gets going.

  • so not every entry is related. The search engine only fetches the connection. It’s up to the “searcher” to use their brain to find the most accurate match. The question you ignore could the reference be found! Could this be a case of sour grapes.

  • there is only one person who worked at C-ville for all of those years- the founder Hawes Spencer.

    Bill left to spend time in NYC and Rob is just a more recent and mostly lucky investor and editor of the Blue Ridge Outdoors. Your use of language and references show you to be bitter.

    Could you be a member of the Gail Bentley, Craig Winn, or Lee Danielson fan club’s perhaps?

  • Enough with the dead horse already!

  • um, is charlottesville big enough to support another free weekly?

  • Interviewing Dave is the ultimate acid test??? Please. I’m so sick of reading Dave stuff in C’ville I could puke. He’s one guy…enough already with the hero worship.

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