With this issue, I bring more than a decade at the helm of the Hook to a close. The timing is right for me to make the move for personal and professional reasons. And unlike my last newspaper departure nearly 11 years ago, this one is a planned transition. For you, the reader, the Hook has in place a news team that is unparalleled in judgment and experience, and they are perfectly prepared to continue bringing you stories that matter. As for me, I'll remain in Charlottesville in the field of journalism. And you just may continue to see my byline in these pages from time to time.

Love and kisses,

Hawes Spencer

Read more on: Hawes Spencer


The end of a wonderful era! My personal favorite was the coverage on the Van der Linde saga. Thanks for all the great stories Hawes!

I hope you continue to join Coy on the radio. I love listening to you two. I love The Hook! Best wishes.

Best wishes on your next move. The Hook is one of the few remaining local outlets(maybe the only) that has actually practiced real journalism--investigating and reporting. There are many who are grateful for your leadership of the paper and we hope that the standards that have been set for inquiry and good old fashioned legwork, a rare commodity in the increasingly vertically integrated media, remain in place and continue to grow.

Good Luck to you, Hawes! THANK YOU for all your support!!

Congratulations Mr. Spencer on a job well done .
Looking forward to your next act !

It has been an honor having you as my editor for 15 years! Thank you for believing in a 21 year old kid with her dads camera. So grateful that our paths crossed.

Best wishes for your next endeavor. I have enjoyed reading and listening to you over the years.

It has been a great run, Hawes. Hope to continue reading your fine work.

Good luck and good writing

umm dangg!

There are Hawes Spencer fans that know they are fans, then there are the legions of Hook readers (and previous C-ville readers) who may not fully appreciate that that the stories they discuss in coffee shops emanate from the journalistic curiosity of only a handful of folks of which HS is one of the originals. Some of the more colorful community frays at which we pick in fabric of our little c- village were woven in to our lies by Hawes.

Thanks for being part of the intangible something about Charlottesville,
Thanks for the dry humored insights,
Thanks for actually doing investigative journalism and not just reporting,
Thanks for the active and personal corrections in the story comments,
Thanks for creating community and the water cooler chat fodder

good luck on your next (undisclosed?) endeavor.
PS> "Take Gas bag self ordained" expert with you

I wrote this recently for VQR: "When I started my first professional job at a local alternative newsweekly, lo, so many years ago when we still pasted up the paper, the first lesson my editor taught me was that our responsibility was to the reader. While the ad department was around to keep the lights on, without the reader, the whole shebang wouldn’t exist. I hang onto this belief and all that it implies—respect the readers’ intelligence, give them an engaging reading experience, recognize them as a community—with a fervor that borders on the religious."

Hawes is that first editor. Good luck to you and to the great team you're leaving behind.

Best of luck plying your trade elsewhere, guv. May the wind always be at your back.

R.I.P.: John Hamilton

Wishing you smooth sailing and following seas.

eric newsome, maybe he's coming to work for my new business?

But, relax, I'm not going anywhere. With employees doing the majority of the work, I will still have plenty of time to spread my wisdom around here!

Hawes, see you around!

We wouldn't have Restaurant Week without you, Hawes! Thanks for your good work!

You'd be a hard act to follow ... I wish you only the very best.

:( Hawes, you will be missed. Thanks for many years of good reading and answering questions I didn't even realize I had.

Glad to hear you will still be working in journalism in the area! Can't wait to see your next professional incarnation!

And thank you Hawes for the years you spent documenting the boondoggle dam plan.
Even if we failed to stop the destruction of Ragged Mountain Natural Area, and the unnecessary expenditure of millions of dollars, your award winning journalism will live on and may provide the courage to future generations to stand up to authority, foia for documents when questions go unanswered, and never give up.


Hawes, when I read the headline I couldn't believe it. The Hook is the go to publication for investigative journalism and The Hook is Hawes! You've set the bar high for integrity and perseverance and that's a good thing. Good luck and stay thirsty, my friend.

We may be in good hands, Hawes, but you can never be replaced.

Thanks for a decade of great reading.

Please know that Hawes has agreed to continue "Fun Fridays with Hawes" every Friday at 5pm on WINA with Coy Barefoot!

Hawes, congratulations on an incredible run as Editor of the Hook, and best wishes in your new endeavors. Under your leadership, the Hook was by far the best investigative media outlet in town. Your coverage of the water supply plan, UVa, and other stories was unparalleled. We will miss you.

Gosh, I hardly know what to say. It seems just a short time ago the new read was 'C'ville'. I loved the audacity of the founding of the 'Hook' under duress, and the faith that this small town could support a second independent newspaper. Time and again, I found myself checking out what the real story was by reading the Hook. Thanks for leading the effort to keep journalism alive.

As the last of the gunfighter put away his bandolero and six shooters, the town folk wonder if lawlessness had been defeated. The more wizened among them knew that new danger would now come behind a smile and a veneer of noblesse oblige that would now gauze the news in a rose colored sheen. This would be for the common good, least anyone spook the horse or frighten the children and woman folk with tawdry tales told in tin typed tabloids.

Such is the nature of progress in this age.

Farewell Hawes and good luck to us all

Hawes IS the Hook!

There's no doubt that the Hook has come a long way and did a great job of establishing a true investigative voice in the local media. But I would be remiss if I didn't comment that there were a couple of times when the editor seemed to indulge in allowing his bias to shade his reporting.

The Ragged Mountain reservoir and Van Der Linde stories are two examples of this. Reading Mr. Spencer's articles on these two subjects left one with little doubt regarding his opinions. The fact that many people agreed with those opinions is irrelevant.

Regardless, the Hook has become an indispensable part of the local community. I don't think that could be said about any other local publication.

That fact speaks for itself and is a tribute to Mr. Spencer's work.

Well played, Spencer Hawes! I will miss your electronic commentary tramsmitted from the center of the universe to my home in the old world.

trees anguish winter
swallow ponders long journey
spring sunlight revives

So long, Hoss.

This Ville has been extremely privileged to have Mr. Spencer leading the charge up many hills and into many shady valleys, spreading light and insight for more than two decades. We are all the richer for it. Bravo, Hawes!
And may the wind be at your back for all your coming endeavors.

RIP Hook as we know it!

Note to staff:

Please emulate Hawes, continue your own fantastic reporting (Courtney, Lisa, Dave and whomever else shall grace the halls), and do not dumb the paper down to boring, canned articles about exercise, healthy eating, etc... long live the investigative journalism of The Hook....

if that's possible.

Crossing fingers.

Long live the investigation... and the unparalleled wit.

The Hook is the pulse of Cville. I hope it continues to be so, and also that HS finds equal or greater success in the next endeavor. Thanks!

Thanks for shining the light on matters both great and small
in our community.
I am sure we will see you; down the road a piece.
All the best !!

Your grace and style will be sorely missed ... or not!

What I will always remember are your facts. Under your leadership, The Hook has been the only newspaper in town that clearly explained the facts within a story and helped the readers to understand how you came to your point of view. And you never shied from including 'politically inconvenient' facts, even when they upset local politicians and powerful interests.

People may disagree with your point of view in some stories, but they often did so with a willful and telling avoidance of the facts.

I hope your third act is even better ... and I look forward to seeing it.

Best of luck.

You've done a great job for our community, Hawes. Thank you!

Hey, you guys had shirts on when you came in here.

You were always the brains behind the original C-ville weekly, too, so you are due a lot of credit in the whole transition of Charlottesville from a southern college town with a 50's-60's vibe, to the happening, forward leaning place it is now. You were just a bright, excited college kid twenty years ago with some interesting ideas...and you have achieved a tremendous amount while making an enormous contribution to your community.
What's next?!and good luck.

Good luck and kep writing and reporting. It's good for you and good for us!

It's curious that Hawes leaves without a job awaiting him. I wonder if this was voluntary? He got smacked down by people when he (a tall skinny guy) published the slimy article about President Sullivan's weight. And now he's been trumped, if you haven't heard, by others who want to promote restaurtants in Charlottesville but who don't charge the same exhorbitant money that the hook wants for restaurant week. Could he have been forced out by the hooks owners like Mr. Weschler, who tired of his sophomoric at best writing that tainted their own reputation?

I'll miss Snowpocalypse! Stormaggedon! Hail and Fire and Ice! Now with Hawes gone the weather is settling down to uniform grey with 50% chance of dull. Maybe you might tell us why you are leaving a paper that was always basically, you?

Hawes working for GBSOE: my smile of the day
Glad to hear Fridays with Coy Barefoot will continue - its my favorite fun, mellow, but informative
and what will be in the 3rd act? at least confirm its central Virginia related...

Late to the farewell party, but thank you Hawes for an excellent and local publication and best of luck to you.