Snarky mugshot groupings help separate Gotcha! from its competition.
What is it about mugshots that's so darn compelling? Some may
call it schadenfreude, that hidden pleasure the misfortune
of others, but for the publisher of the second mugshot mag to hit
Central Virginia newsstands in less than six months, the money
In October, Media General, publisher of the Daily
Progress and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, introduced
Charlottesville and surrounding counties to Gotcha!, a
weekly tabloid featuring recent arrestees and the crimes for which
Like the competing Crime Times, which
first hit stands in June and has been doing brisk business (with
circulation ballooning from 6,000 a week in June to 25,000 a week
this month), Gotcha! retails for $1. It's apparently a
small price for the pleasure of seeing the smiling, frowning,
grimacing– and even bloodied– visages of recent arrestees.
In its first week at the store, says Kim Brown, co-owner of
Brown's convenience store on Avon Street, sales have been brisk. Of
the 25 delivered, 12 had sold in the first 48 hours. And once
people see what's inside, she notes, sales may increase.
"I swore I wasn't going to read it," she laughs, "but then I heard
they had restaurant violations."