Times-Dispatch’s alt-weekly hits the bricks

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has pulled the plug on its alternative weekly experiment.

“Brick,” which aimed to cover the restaurant, entertainment and arts scene in Richmond will cease publication July 22.

The magazine was launched in 2006 and initially included stories, illustrations, event listings and reviews. (Full disclosure: This reporter wrote some of his best articles for Brick, including one on whether Richmond could support two music venues and a look at the ABC law that requires bars to sell food). The magazine tried to find an irreverent voice, initially under the leadership of Pete Humes, who was a features reporter at the Times-Dispatch and before that ran a weekly humor publication called Punchline.

Over time, Brick changed editors and cut back on the reporting. It added more photos of concerts and events (i.e., drunken 20-somethings) around town.

Advertising in the weekly paper diminished, said Ray Kozakewicz, a spokesperson for Media General. Kozakewicz decline to say whether Brick was ever profitable.

The only advertiser in the most recent issue was Colonial Downs.

Aaron Kremer is the BizSense editor. Please send news tips to [email protected]

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has pulled the plug on its alternative weekly experiment.

“Brick,” which aimed to cover the restaurant, entertainment and arts scene in Richmond will cease publication July 22.

The magazine was launched in 2006 and initially included stories, illustrations, event listings and reviews. (Full disclosure: This reporter wrote some of his best articles for Brick, including one on whether Richmond could support two music venues and a look at the ABC law that requires bars to sell food). The magazine tried to find an irreverent voice, initially under the leadership of Pete Humes, who was a features reporter at the Times-Dispatch and before that ran a weekly humor publication called Punchline.

Over time, Brick changed editors and cut back on the reporting. It added more photos of concerts and events (i.e., drunken 20-somethings) around town.

Advertising in the weekly paper diminished, said Ray Kozakewicz, a spokesperson for Media General. Kozakewicz decline to say whether Brick was ever profitable.

The only advertiser in the most recent issue was Colonial Downs.

Aaron Kremer is the BizSense editor. Please send news tips to [email protected]

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Scott Burger
Scott Burger
12 years ago

This widens an existing opportunity for the right group of people. Think a monthly, bootstrappin’, soy-ink, recyclable newsprint publication that covered the same scope (art, music, politics) of Throttle, some of the humor of Punchline, the range of 64 (Magazine)(C’ville, RVA, Hampton Roads and perhaps other Virginia college towns). Think partnership with WTJU or WNRN, WRIR, and whatever alternative radio exists in Hampton Roads these days as well as RVA Magazine/RVATV.com or RVA News.com online. Think intelligent, well-written previews and reviews that brings and nourishes more talent and enthusiasm. Think easy to-music/movie/literary event schedules. Think people who are less concerned… Read more »

nthecity
nthecity
12 years ago

Punchline is/was my personal favorite. But you know, the local blogs share the same spirit (oregon hill blog, river city district, etc)

Bradley G
Bradley G
12 years ago

As a bar manager in the bottom I have seen “Brick” go from slightly relevent a few years ago to virtually unnessacary now. Brick was interesting but never the good read Punchline was. Punchline truely came off as an “paper for the younger generation” more akin to Style but with a different audeince while Brick always felt like more of an insert for the RTD,instead of it’s on publication. Punchline was ahead of it’s time for this city, I wish a profitable business model could be used (despite that currently being nearly impossible in the paper business, hence Colonial Downs… Read more »

Brett
Brett
12 years ago

Punchline was better, but Brick became a great one stop source for music and event news. They had more listings than Style but less than Richmond.com’s website which is sometimes too overwhelming to sort thru. I do like the Richmond.com insert that comes in the mail. I don’t get it in the city, but my girlfriend get’s it in her mail out in Henrico. If Brick was an insert in the city mail maybe more people would read it. I think in order to compete with Style Weekly you have to have a different distribution strategy. Of course I’m sure… Read more »

Michael
Michael
12 years ago

Best wishes to the folks at Brick. For print to be successful it has to be fresh and different and certainly not redudant. If I can find the same content online quickly and easily then why would I go to the trouble of picking up hardcopy. TD struggles to understand print media just isn’t what it used to be and probably won’t ever be again.