Friday, December 15, 2006

Todd Culbertson to be next Richmond Times-Dispatch editor

He will step up when Ross Mackenzie retires

My newspaper hero Ross Mackenzie is retiring next month as Editorial Page Editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a position he has held since 1969 ... and there have been whispers about who would replace him.

It's no secret the Times-Dispatch has undergone some, um, interesting changes the past few years ... and the liberal contingent in the city would like to make it lean more left even though most large-city newspapers nationwide already are liberal. It's nice to have a somewhat conservative newspaper in a conservative state.

Today's Times-Dispatch announced Todd Culbertson, 56, Deputy Editor, will move up.

Todd Culbertson. A super choice. He's probably not as conservative as Mr. Mackenzie ... but he is an excellent choice to take the helm. And he's a long-timer ... been with the paper since 1976 and has worked alongside Mr. Mackenzie for years in the editorial department.

I had the pleasure of meeting Todd in 2000 on the train from Richmond to Philadelphia where he was going to cover the Republican National Convention. I was also on my way to the convention, along with my mom and sister, as guests of my Texas sister who worked for Governor George W. Bush. We said hello which was followed by some small talk about attending the convention. I didn't see him again until we were in the Philly train station waiting to return to Richmond ... we talked briefly about the convention and his editorial pieces in the newspaper ... and I didn't see him again until the spring of 2006 at the Correspondent of the Day luncheon in Richmond.

Moving into Todd's place as Deputy Editor is another comforting choice -- A. Barton Hinkle, also a long-time T-D employee -- who has been at the newspaper since 1990.

I grew up reading the Times-Dispatch and, even today, it is delivered daily to my door in the Shenandoah Valley.

Congratulations to these two gentlemen. It's nice to know that the major change of losing Ross Mackenzie as editor will be made a little easier with T-D veterans like Todd Culbertson and A. Barton Hinkle.

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