Read it and Weep: COVID-19 lays waste to Virginia newspapers

"It’s getting hard to keep track of the bad news about the news right now. But we have to." - Kristen Hare, Poynter

Poynter has been keeping track of newsroom layoffs, furloughs and closures caused by the coronavirus since the beginning of April 2020, and Virginia has been particularly hard hit, courtesy in large part to Lee Enterprises. Not mentioned in this list, like The Roanoke Times, the Daily Progress is also selling its office building. Here is Poynter’s Virginia list:


  • The Roanoke (Virginia) Times has put its office building up for sale.

  • The Fauquier Times in Warrenton announced layoffs, reduced hours and furloughs.

  • The Henrico Citizen in Henrico County announced it was stopping its twice-monthly print edition for April “and possibly beyond.”

  • C-ville Weekly in Charlottesville laid off one third of its staff.

  • Lee Enterprises had furloughs and cost-cutting measures, including a 20% pay cut for executives. It owns 13 newspapers in Virginia.

  • Gannett had furloughs and cost reductions. It later had buyouts, with about 500 people losing their jobs. It owns six newspapers in Virginia. 

  • Ogden Newspapers furloughed employees companywide, Poynter has learned. It owns six newspapers in Virginia.

  • Tribune Publishing announced permanent pay cuts of between 2% and 10% and executives will take pay cuts. It also had furloughs. Tribune owns two newsrooms in Virginia. 

  • Landmark Community Newspapers had a cut in hours. It owns three newspapers in Virginia.

  • The Daily Progress in Charlottesville is laying off its four-person copy desk. It is owned by Lee Enterprises.

  • The Roanoke Times will lay off 10 people from its copy desk. The Times is owned by Lee Enterprises, which is consolidating design work.

  • The (Lynchburg) News & Advance laid off five people. It is owned by Lee Enterprises.

  • The (Fredericksburg) Free Lance-Star laid off one person. It is owned by Lee Enterprises.

  • The Richmond Times-Dispatch laid off at least five people. It is owned by Lee Enterprises.

  • The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress laid off two people. It will lay off its four-person copy desk in October. It later laid off two editors. It is owned by Lee Enterprises. 

  • The (Newport News) Daily Press will permanently close its office. It is owned by Tribune Publishing.