the Virginian-Pilot, the "Pilot," is Virginia's largest newspaper. It serves the city of Norfolk, as well as southeast Virginia and North Carolina. family-owned from its founding the close of the Civil War, It changed ownership in 2018 when the Chicago based Tribune Publishing purchased the paper.
The Virginian-Pilot covered the Wright Brothers’ early flights.
In the 1980s, the paper was among the first online newspapers as part of a Compuserve experiment.
In 1991 publisher Frank Batten Jr. worked at digitizing the paper, and it was one of the first newspapers to have an online sister website, Pilotonline.com. Batten became Landmark Communications’ CEO, parent of the Pilot.
In 2017, the paper launched a podcast.
In 2021, Alden Global Capital acquired Tribune Publishing; Alden operates its media properties through Digital First Media.
The paper and its afternoon edition, the Ledger Star (which ceased publication in 1995) were created by Samuel L. Slover as the result of merging several newspapers. The paper shares an office with its sister publication, The Daily Press, and today both are owned by Tribune Publishing. Tribune paid $34 million for the newspaper, subsidiary publications, business offices, and a printing plant in Virginia Beach.
The paper won three Pulitzer Prizes, the first in 1929 when editor Louis Jaffee wrote an editorial condemning the practice of lynching. The next editor, Lenoir Chambers, received a Pulitzer Prize for his writing about desegregation. The Virginian-Pilot was one of the few newspapers in Virginia to support the end of “Jim Crow” laws. In 1985 Thomas Turcol won a Pulitzer Prize for General Reporting for his coverage of corruption in Chesapeake. The paper’s staff has received a number of Pulitzer Prize nominations as well.
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