Bill Chapman Responds To Hawes Spencer’s Comments: The Story Behind The Hook Newspaper In Charlottesville, Virginia


Bill Chapman; Photo Credit: Oakhurst Inn

In Episode 2 of our four episode series on Hawes Spencer, the former editor and owner of The Hook newspaper, Hawes recollects his version on “The Backroom Story Behind The Launch Of The Hook Newspaper In Charlottesville, Virginia,” including the destruction of his relationship with business partners Bill Chapman and Rob Jiranek.

You can watch Episode 2 Here: Episode 2.

In response to Episode 2, after the show aired on The I Love CVille Network, Bill Chapman, one of the current co-owners of the C-Ville Weekly and Hawes’ one-time business partner at both the C-Ville Weekly and The Hook, provided his version of how things transpired with Hawes from roughly 1990 – 2013, a golden era for journalism in Charlottesville, Virginia. This era supported one daily newspaper (The Daily Progress), two weekly newspapers (C-Ville and The Hook), four TV stations (WVIR NBC29, CBS19, ABC16, & FOX27 Charlottesville), 15-30 radio station owners, including two big-time players, Monticello Media and CVille Radio Group (now Saga Communications), one Latin newspaper and three local websites:, and

“It’s true that I fired Hawes at least once,” Chapman messaged me on Facebook, “but never at 100 South Street and never in a “newsroom,” (at least we never called it that).

“Ironically, I was involved in an effort to keep The Hook going toward the end of its life. During that 2-year period, two members of the “dream team” embezzled or defrauded the company in separate incidents. The paper also lost its insurance coverage after ending up on the wrong end of a defamation lawsuit. That made it impossible to keep publishing, though a decade of poor financial performance argued against that anyway.”

The “dream team” is a reference to the team Hawes assembled to launch The Hook. Hawes called his motley crew of talented and hungry newspaper men and women “my dream team.”

Watch Episode 2 Here:

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy Journalist Hawes Spencer Discusses His New Book: “Summer Of Hate” And Other Charlottesville, Va Events On The I Love CVille Show and Is Charlottesville, Virginia A Better Place Today Than It Was 30 Years Ago?

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CEO Jerry Miller

Jerry Miller is the CEO of The Miller Organization, The I Love CVille Network, VMV Brands, The Blue Ridge Venture Fund and I Love CVille Real Estate, which are all headquartered in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Jerry is passionate about the #ShopLocal movement and supporting locally-owned businesses. Get to know Jerry at