THE FINAL SAY: Change can be a good thing


Turn and face the strange


Don’t want to be a richer man


Turn and face the strange

  • David Bowie


Change can be scary.

I’m sure when many of you grabbed the paper this morning, you were a little confused by the size.

Don’t be scared, it’s good news — we’re growing. Literally.

After the first of the year, we started discussing how we can continue to serve Culpeper and the surrounding communities, and one of those ways is to expand the size of the paper. When many things in our world are shrinking — phones, cars, my checkbook when my kids want new toys — we wanted to visually show that we’re expanding.

In the three years I’ve worked here at the Culpeper Times, there’s been many Wednesdays when I’ve had to cut my articles and shrink some wonderful photos by our photographer Ian Chini. Those are always hard decisions, so by moving to a taller tab-style newspaper, we’ll be able to bring you more information, bigger photos and more exposure for our advertisers.

The difference might not seem big, we’re moving from a 13.75-inch tall tab to a 15-inch tall tab, but it also brings us closer to size to our sister paper, Inside Nova.

Rappahannock Media purchased Inside Nova earlier in January and we’ve been working to expand our reach to maximize the potential of all of our publications. By offering the same size of paper in our markets, we’ll be able to more easily allow advertisers to reach Northern Virginia and for Northern Virginia to reach us.

Don’t panic, that doesn’t mean we will stop offering local content. To the contrary, this week you’ll see some familiar faces in our publication.

One comment I hear quite often from the community is “I see your byline a lot.” It’s often meant as a compliment, but I realize that too much of one style of writing can be tedious. So with that in mind, I’d like to welcome Zann Nelson to the Culpeper Times family.

I’ve worked with Zann for more than 10 years, when she joined the Culpeper Star-Exponent as a history columnist and I was the sports editor. I’ve collaborated with her on several projects, including the award-winning Pete Hill series.

She’s a wealth of information and seemingly knows everyone. When we found out she was ending her column, I immediately connected with her to bring her into the folder here as our official historian.

I can’t wait for her to share her amazing stories, which she begins in earnest on page 9 of this week’s issue. She too is excited to bring her expertise to our pages.

“It may surprise many of the readers that after 12 years and more than 600 columns there remains an untold wealth of yet to be shared stories of Culpeper County’s vast history,” Nelson said. “I love the idea of writing for a weekly newspaper that embraces the community it serves with stories that cannot be found elsewhere.”

We’ve changed our fonts and updated our banners — thanks to our talented designer Jay Ford — to better brand ourselves and give the paper a fresh, clean, modern look.

You’ll also notice that Martin’s Grocery Store now features a backpage ad (in addition to their top strip ad), that will be running weekly and we appreciate their commitment to our community as well.

While those changes are evident, we want to stress that we will continue to provide the same hyper local community coverage and advertising that we always have.

Some things never change.

About Jeff Say 286 Articles
Jeff Say is the editor for the Culpeper Times. He can be reached at