Bob Gibson is leaving the Daily Progress to take a job with the Sorensen Institute, Progress editor McGregor McCance writes on their website.
Though good for Sorensen, it’s going to leave a hole at the Progress that quite likely won’t be filled. I don’t mean that in a nostalgic way. I mean that Bob Gibson’s decades of writing and editorial work for Progress arose from the paper being lucky enough to have a political reporter disinterested in living anywhere other than Charlottesville. Though he could surely have gotten a job with larger newspapers elsewhere in the country, with better pay and many more readers, he preferred to stay here. Media General isn’t about to spend a decade training a replacement, nor are they going to pony up the necessary money to convince a seasoned political reporter to move here and write for them. Instead, they’ll surely rely on the two political reporters for the Richmond Times Dispatch to provide coverage from Richmond, and let the rotating cast of beat reporters take care of local politics. The paper is losing their political institutional memory.
In a nutshell, expect the quality of the political reporting at the Progress to decline significantly over the next couple of years.