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]

A storm passes over the Capitol. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Sept. 11, 2018)

It never seems to be the right time for campaign finance reform in Virginia

By: - March 5, 2021

St. Augustine — who famously longed for chastity and continence, but not just yet — would recognize a similar spiritual conundrum in Virginia senators on campaign finance reform. Sure thing. Just not right now. Last month, in the waning days of the 2021 General Assembly session, the Senate, on a voice vote, (which means there […]

Virginia Mercury

Flags flown at half mast to honor slain Stanley police officer, lawmakers approve affordable housing tax credits, one really big fish, and more headlines

By: - March 4, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere • Gov. Ralph Northam ordered state flags to fly at half mast in honor of Stanley police officer Dominic Winum, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop last week.—WDBJ • The General Assembly approved a new tax-credit program to incentivize affordable […]

Virginia Mercury

Virginia senator walks back threat to withhold Metro funding, Jill Biden visits VCU cancer center, swimming while handcuffed, and more headlines

By: - February 25, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • State Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, backed off a threat to withhold millions in Virginia funding for Metro if WMATA didn’t agree to put Capital One’s name on a station. “Obviously I was not seriously going to cut [Metro funding] by millions,” Howell […]


Yes Virginia, four of your congressmen voted to overturn the will of voters

By: - January 8, 2021

Few living have seen a more disgraceful day at the U.S. Capitol than Wednesday, when thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump, whipped into a frenzy beyond reason after months of lies about the election, bashed their way into the building in a deadly spectacle that will live in infamy. But in a way, the […]


‘Not a happy story’: But how does it end?

By: - January 5, 2021

Already the first days of 2021 feel less like the darkness before the dawn and more like a deeper plunge into our bitter polarization and the ceaseless ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the arrival of vaccines, the initial batches have been slow to be doled out amid a morass of confusion at the state […]

Virginia state senator dies of COVID-19 complications

By: - January 1, 2021

Virginia State Sen. A. Benton “Ben” Chafin Jr., R-Russell, has died of COVID-19, the Senate Republican leadership announced Friday evening. “Tonight, as the Senate of Virginia comes to grips with this tremendous and untimely loss caused by COVID-19, our sympathy and prayers are with Ben’s wife, Lora Lee, their children and grandchildren, and Ben’s mother […]


2020 in review: Top 10 most-viewed Mercury stories of the year

By: - January 1, 2021

Journalism, of course, isn’t a popularity contest. The value of the work isn’t meant to be judged by how many people click on a given story. Indeed, wise reporters and editors stop questioning early in their careers why some stories, especially those that might seem more trivial, take flight while others of equal or greater […]

Virginia Mercury

Virginia averaging more than 3,500 new COVID cases a day, first-time unemployment claims fall, Tuskegee airman turns 100, and more headlines

By: - December 18, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Virginia is averaging more than 3,500 coronavirus cases per day as the holidays approach and officials are urging people to stay home and get tested if they will travel.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • The number of Virginians filing first-time unemployment claims fell 13 percent […]

Virginia Mercury

Roanoke region sees major spike in COVID-19, Herring announces re-election campaign, birthday acts of kindness, and more headlines

By: - December 17, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • The Roanoke region has seen a major spike in COVID-19 cases. “This is very likely due to the Thanksgiving surge that we were expecting,” one health official said.—WVTF • Attorney General Mark Herring formally launched his re-election bid, though he faces Democratic […]

Gun control groups box out gun rights groups for rally permits, Bedford residents seek anti-shutdown resolution amid regional case surge, a mysterious red panda escape, and more headlines

By: - November 25, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Pro-gun control organizations booked almost all available time slots for permitted demonstrations on Capitol Square on the same day gun rights groups planned to stage a repeat of their rally last year that drew thousands.—Washington Post  • Ballad Health officials say November […]

Analysts watching for post-holiday case spike, Virginia liquor sales up $46 million this year (so far), winter sports’ future uncertain, and more headlines

By: - November 24, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Data analysts advising Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration say a “two-week shutdown” after Thanksgiving could be necessary if there’s a big jump in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Virginia.—WRIC • Virginia Beach’s sheriff and former deputy police chief will sit on another commission […]


Burning down the house on the way out

By: - November 14, 2020

It was more than 12 years ago, and it sure feels like a different era in American politics. Stung years earlier during his unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination by a despicable, racist and false whisper campaign during the South Carolina primary, John McCain wasn’t having it in 2008 when an elderly White woman at […]