Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]

U.S. Chamber: Trump’s tariffs would add tens of millions to cost of Virginia imports from Mexico

By: - June 7, 2019

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a state-by-state breakdown of the projected effects of President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on goods imported from Mexico. Virginia, which had about $1.5 billion worth of Mexican imports in 2018, is way down on the list (consider that Texas had $107 billion) but the impact is still significant. The […]

Municipal building mass shooting is ‘most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach’

By: - June 1, 2019

A dozen people were killed and at least four more were injured at Virginia Beach’s public works building  Friday afternoon by a longtime employee armed with a handgun equipped with a sound suppressor, The Virginian-Pilot and other news outlets reported. Police have not named the gunman, who carried several extended magazines, the Virginia Beach police […]


Tell us about the UFOs already, Mr. President

By: - May 30, 2019

Maybe he’ll tell us about the UFOs. If there was a sliver of a silver lining to the election of a vacuous, mendacious reality show star, conspiracy theorist and mediocre insult comic to the highest office in the land — someone with little respect for the presidency except as a mirror to his limitless vanity […]

For Chesapeake Bay, Pennsylvania remains a problem

By: - May 28, 2019

Three states account for about 90 percent of the pollution that makes it into the Chesapeake Bay. Of those, Virginia and Maryland are largely living up to their commitments to meet goals to improve water quality.   Not so much the other state, according to a report issued Tuesday by the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation. […]


Report on Northam’s yearbook photo finished

By: - May 21, 2019

The investigation into the racist photo found on Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page is reportedly complete and results are expected to be released Wednesday at a news conference. Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk did not respond to a request from the Mercury to confirm the announcement. However, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, WAVY TV, […]

phone, car

State survey results show distracted driving considered a ‘serious problem’

By: - May 14, 2019

Digital town hall results released Tuesday by Gov. Ralph Northam’s office show that 93 percent of the 2,000 respondents considered distracted-driving a “very serious or serious problem.” They also voted it “the most serious of seven highway safety issues provided for ranking, followed closely by drunk driving,” the governor’s office said of the 11-question online […]


It’s not too late to change our shameful collective impotence on mass shootings

By: - May 14, 2019

Call it a classic case of the grass always being greener. Growing up in Miami, surrounded by beaches and palm trees — even lucky enough every so often to see an escapee from the nearby Parrot Jungle at our bird feeder or roosting in our ficus tree — I dreamed sometimes of being somewhere else. […]

Virginia Mercury

Mercury reporter wins health journalism award

By: - May 8, 2019

The Association of Health Care Journalists, a leading professional organization dedicated to better reporting on health and health care, awarded our Katie O’Connor second place in its 2018 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. O’Connor was recognized in the organization’s investigative, small publication category for her series of articles about a Richmond-based assisted living […]


A coalition takes aim at Virginia’s ‘vampire squid:’ How much will it make it squirm?

By: - May 7, 2019

New York investment bank Goldman Sachs was once memorably called “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” by Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi. In Virginia, many would argue we have long had our own bloodsucking cephalopod wrapped around the Capitol. And […]


Northam won’t veto GOP budget language that could cripple carbon-capping plan

By: - May 2, 2019

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration will not veto GOP-inserted budget language that thwarts Virginia’s plans to join a network of carbon-trading states, throwing a wrench into a regulation developed over nearly two years and approved by a state board last month. In a statement announcing his approval of the state budget Thursday, Northam, a Democrat, said […]

Hampton Roads nursing home violations are higher than the national average; Bedford County shooting started with car argument; Steven Spielberg visited Danville last week and more headlines

By: - May 2, 2019

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Citing reconciliation, Gov. Ralph Northam kept up a string of recent vetoes by shooting down bipartisan bills establishing minimum sentences for certain offenses. — Richmond Times-Dispatch • Roanoke renamed the city’s courthouse for civil rights legal titan Oliver Hill, who spent his “formative years […]

Red paint covers the base of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Richmond's Monument Avenue. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 4, 2018)

Localities should decide what belongs in their public spaces

By: - May 1, 2019

The first time I moved to Richmond, in 2002, this city was a very different place in many ways, with the brewery and culinary explosion of today just a gleam in the eyes of people looking farther ahead than many of us at the time. That year, 83 people were murdered here, a figure that […]