Romenesko Misc.
A Richmond Times-Dispatch newsroom employee who asked not to be named says "the news staff is shocked and angry" over Sunday's Wells Fargo ad wrapped around page one, but publisher Thomas Silvestri tells me that "the reaction here is a real snoozer." He passes long this quote from Times-Dispatch editor Danny Finnegan:
"I've received no complaints from inside the newsroom or outside. No emails, no phone calls. I've talked to several people who don't necessarily like it, but they understand it."

The publisher's email to me is after the jump.

We welcome reader and employee comments on anything we do.

In this case, we can appreciate if "some" readers were surprised by the unusual treatment. But the wrap is clearly marked "SPECIAL ADVERTISING PULLOUT." Anyone who reads The Times-Dispatch will know the wrap isn't news content. There's also no "story" on the front. Red is not a headline color for news as well.

So far, I know of two complaints. In both cases, we have talked with the readers by phone to understand their observations. Three complaints, if you count your anonymous emailer. Compared with changes to comics and obituaries, the reaction here is a real snoozer. (Side note: I also have a handful of readers who keep lobbying me for NO advertisements whatsoever.)

As for the Newsroom, Editor Danny Finnegan reports:
"I've received no complaints from inside the newsroom or outside. No emails, no phone calls. I've talked to several people who don't necessarily like it, but they understand it."

We're always looking for new ways to generate revenue without confusing ads with news. At the same time, we're always looking for great stories and opportunities to showcase our watchdog journalism and expand our audience.

On your policy question: We've tried "spadia" wraps in the past -- half page in front, connected to the full page that serves as pages 3 and 4 of the concept. This is the first full wrap around the A section. We'll review future proposals on a case-by-case basis. Like the process in the Wells Fargo wrap, the Editor will be involved in final decisions.

By the way: I'm happy to report we also had a very good Sunday newspaper.

Thank you for your interest in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Tom Silvestri
Publisher

P.S. I would appreciate if you could relay to the "one emailer" [who complained to Romenesko] that my door is always open and I welcome a discussion. He or she should know that.

> Earlier: L.A. County Board takes a stand against LAT's front-page ads