Agnes Cross-White, 53
Editor/publisher, The Tribune
Agnes Cross-White calls herself “an equal opportunity attacker.” Her favorite part about running The Tribune, Charlottesville’s only black-owned newspaper, is writing the editorial and attacking sacred cows, such as the NAACP. “I know people will get upset,” she says with a smile.
Cross-White inherited the paper from her father-in-law in 1991, and she admits that at the time she knew nothing about running a newspaper. “My grandmother always said,
‘Can you read? Then you can do it.’” And that’s been Cross-White’s guiding wisdom ever since.
“I’ve never faced obstacles as a woman,” she says. “If I faced any obstacles, it’s because of my race.” She advocates using everything you can in business, and for women, “sex is always an advantage.”
Cross-White is full of advice for the small business owner: don’t wear rose-colored glasses, don’t expect everyone to be nice, don’t expect to get rich, and get rid of anything that hurts the bottom line.
“Most small businesses fail because they’ve got so much overhead,” she says. She runs The Tribune out of her home, a condo in the Lewis and Clark that overlooks Charlottesville. What she saves in rent by avoiding a separate office she invests in computer hardware and software.
The hardest part of publishing any newspaper is getting advertisers, and that’s no different for Cross-White.
“I don’t back down on anything, and I know I rub people the wrong way,” she says. “But I don’t let advertisers dictate editorial policy.”
Actually, no one would accuse Cross-White of letting anyone dictate anything to her.Read more on: The Tribune