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The first edition was published Sept. 7, 1978, and the paper folded in 2004. The Hook wrote that the paper's "muckraking set a standard for 1980s and 1990s Charlottesville." It was considered by some[who?] to be a conservative media outlet.
Main Street Media took ownership of the Observer in 2000, with Donald Hodel holding 90% ownership and Jeff Peyton holding 10%. Peyton was fired from Main Street Media in late 2002 and Hodel, now holding full ownership of the paper, turned it over in January 2003 to Kimberly S. Robbins, who had been with the paper since 1990. Additionally, Ron Hasson became managing editor in 2003. Robbins worked to return the paper to profitability and did so by 2004. She arranged a sale of the paper, but was left "standing at the altar" and let the newspaper cease publication.
- Web. About this Newspaper: Charlottesville observer, Chronicling America, Wikipedia:United States Library of Congress, retrieved 30 Nov 2009.
- Web. Observer Folds, Waldo Jaquith, Cvillenews.com, 9 Aug. 2004, retrieved 13 Aug. 2009.
- Web. Observer founder Kay Peaslee has died, Hawes Spencer, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, January 14, 2012, retrieved January 23, 2012. Print. January 19, 2012 , 1103, page 19.