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New Magazine to Rise In Punchline's Place

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"Richmond has basically a lot of unrealized genius," he says. There's "art no one gets to see, music no one gets to hear . … A lot of clubs that are a little too empty."

Haglund, 24, aims to fill that void with free-flowing words. Hence the name of his new magazine: Wadi, a free journal of arts, culture and opinion in the vein of now-departed Punchline.

The magazine, scheduled to launch April 15, will be published every two weeks and distributed in Richmond and Charlottesville. It makes sense to include concert listings and art openings for both areas, Haglund says, because the two music scenes are growing closer. "A lot of the bands we talk to here are starting to perform half the week in Charlottesville," he says.

Editors won't be bound by any strict editorial policy on what types of perspectives should be included, he says, nor will he "have a direct editorial stronghold" on content. Haglund's goal, he says, is only to feature at least one "extremely inflammatory opinion" in every issue, barring overt racism or bigotry.

Liz Skrobiszewski, former publisher of Punchline, is advising Haglund, an English major at Virginia Commonwealth University, on how best to make the business work. "I've kind of been giving him the 101 on small business and publishing," she says, "… catapulting him ahead and showing him the mistakes I've made." Lorna Wyckoff, former publisher of 64 magazine, did the same for her, she says. "Just following though with the legacy, I guess."

Skrobiszewski herself is embarking on a new project, a telephone information line for local arts, theater and movies. Updated a few times per week, it would be an easy way for Richmonders out and about to hear what's going on, she says. "It's cool, the immediacy of it." She says the line will be launched officially in the next week or so. —

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