Today, we announce changes in the leadership of the RTD Editorial Department.

First, a valued columnist for many years on these pages is leaving us.

Bart Hinkle, now the Editor of the Editorial Pages, has accepted a writing role at Dominion Energy, the state’s largest utility.

His last day at the Richmond Times-Dispatch will be Friday, June 15.

At the same time, Commentary Editor Bob Rayner will succeed Bart in leading the department. His immediate priority will be to launch a search for a new writer/columnist to further advance the award-winning RTD Editorial team.

We appreciate Bart’s more than 25 years of outstanding contributions to The Times-Dispatch, including the past year directing the Editorial staff.

Readers, no doubt, will miss his penetrating analysis, creativity, and insightful shaping of an argument.

Bart has expressed a desire to start a new chapter in his life and we respect that conclusion. Though we had wanted a longer run for him at the RTD, Bart has our best wishes. Look for his farewell column on Wednesday’s Op/Ed page.

With every change there’s an opportunity, and that’s certainly the case with Bob — who has excelled in publishing our Sunday Commentary section and offering crisp editorials, especially on complicated subjects.

Bob also has been a major reason for the success of the RTD Public Square, joining Executive Editor Paige Mudd and me in planning the series of civil, civic conversations on topics of major importance to our readers. This fall, the Public Square will conduct its 75th forum.

Bob is eager to work with his Editorial colleagues, editors Cindy Paris and Robin Beres, to further develop initiatives so our opinion pages remain must-reads for longtime subscribers and attract diverse audiences searching for insightful dialogue on issues and trends.

After working nine years in his family’s investment business, Bob began his journalism career as an intern on the state desk of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 1991. Over the next five years, he worked as editor of The Mechanicsville Local, managing editor of Richmond Suburban Newspapers, and founding editor of Inside Business in Richmond and Hampton Roads.

He returned to The Times-Dispatch in 1996, first as Sunday Business editor, then as a reporter covering, at various times, manufacturing, technology, finance, health care, and media. He also wrote a weekly business column and, for a couple of years, a column about baby boomers.

In 2007, he moved to the RTD Editorial staff, where he serves as associate editor.

Bob attended Collegiate School in Henrico and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1982, with a Bachelor of Arts in history. He earned a master’s degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1991. He and his wife, Page, live in western Henrico and have an adult daughter and son.

Please join me in thanking Bart for his contributions and congratulating Bob on his new role.

— Tom Silvestri, Publisher

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