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]


In a nation beset by massacres, there’s only one side to be on

By: - August 5, 2019

I have nothing particularly new, trenchant or poignant to say on our great, intractable gun debate, the latest slew of firearm massacres or our bigoted president’s dangerous rhetoric. My past thoughts on the numbing frequency of mass shootings and guns are here, here and here. And I haven’t made a secret of how I feel […]


Trump shows he can take the high road. He just usually chooses not to.

By: - July 30, 2019

Without mentioning his name, the speakers who delivered remarks before President Donald Trump at the 400th anniversary events in Jamestown Tuesday appeared to be making strenuous rhetorical effort at preemption. Though he wouldn’t take the stage with Trump, Gov. Ralph Northam that morning said modern Virginia “represents the best of what it means to be […]


‘Really dangerous’: Trump and our national division

By: - July 29, 2019

At the time, it seemed like a real nadir. Our first African-American president was being dogged by a nasty conspiracy theory with explicit racist and xenophobic overtones suggesting he wasn’t born where he said he was despite releasing his official long-form birth certificate. Half of the nearly 2,500 readers who responded to my little Louisiana […]

Obstruction focus in Trump probe was ‘misbegotten from the beginning’ UVA professor says

By: - July 23, 2019

A UVA law professor and constitutional law expert says the focus on whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice by seeking to derail the investigation into potential collusion with Russia during the election was “misbegotten from the beginning.” “Firing James Comey was not an act that should have spawned an investigation about whether the president violated […]


Twelve months of The Mercury

By: - July 17, 2019

A year ago today, stressed, sleep-deprived, picking over the wording of my introductory column and anxious about our roster of stories, I waited for the Mercury’s website go live. I had left a 13-year career in newspapers for the new world of online-only, nonprofit news, and, as I contemplated the year ahead, the unknowns loomed. […]

After 20 years, RAM Clinic to leave Wise

By: - July 12, 2019

Remote Area Medical, which has provided free dental, medical, vision and veterinary care to people at a yearly clinic in Wise County for two decades, says starting next year it will pull out of the area to serve “other communities in need across the United States.” Just last month, more than 1,000 people were treated […]


How will GOP’s get-out-of-Dodge move play in November?

By: - July 10, 2019

On one side of Bank Street, the chant was “Floor votes now.” On the other, a parody version: “More guns now.” For most of the late morning Tuesday, the divide over gun regulation at Virginia’s Capitol was literal and physical. Nothing that happened later in the day bridged the chasm. Republicans voted to hightail it […]


Arming all the good guys: an ‘all-around recipe for disaster’

By: - July 8, 2019

Back at my first full-time newspaper job, I wrote a story about a citizen’s police academy program, the kind that’s common in communities around the country and is intended to give regular people a better understanding of police training and procedures. Part of it involved a shooting simulator, an attempt to convey the difficulty in […]

Virginia Mercury

Cleaning up coal spill will take weeks; NRA plans town hall in Virginia Beach; Spray-paint lovers sought and more headlines

By: - June 28, 2019

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Workers are trying to remove 3,600 tons of coal that spilled after a train derailed in the Great Dismal Swamp. Clean up will take weeks. — The Virginian-Pilot • The Catholic Diocese of Richmond added six priests to a list of those credibly […]

Dominion Energy's downtown Richmond building. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Regulators approve Dominion Energy’s long range plan but warn of coming costs

By: - June 27, 2019

More six months after an unprecedented rejection, Dominion Energy’s long-range plan for meeting future electric demand for its 2.6 million Virginia ratepayers was endorsed Thursday by the State Corporation Commission. However, the approval of the utility’s integrated resource plan came with a warning: “While the SCC said that Dominion’s revised plan met the minimum filing […]

Do you have a primary to vote in?

By: - June 11, 2019

It’s primary day, and there are dozens of races across the state to pick official party candidates for the November elections, when all 140 seats in the General Assembly will be on the ballot, among other local races. Virginians need not be a member of party to vote in these races. To find out if […]


There’s a way past gun gridlock

By: - June 9, 2019

The smart money is on a fruitless stalemate during the special session Gov. Ralph Northam has called on gun violence in the wake of the shooting that killed 12 in a municipal building in Virginia Beach. Republican leaders, who cling to narrow majorities in the House of Delegates and Senate, say they have no intention […]