Social Media Club: Ian M. Graham vs. Tobacco Avenue’s Jeff Kelley(in a World Series of Love


Join Ian Graham, Jolie O’Dell from ReadWriteWeb, and Jeff Kelley from the satirical blog Tobacco Avenue as they delve into engaging discussions on topics like traditional journalism versus online media, the credibility of satire as a source, evolving consumer habits, the decline of print newspapers, and more.

For a comprehensive perspective, visit ReadWriteWeb, or simply watch the video below:

UPDATE June 11th, 2023: While Tobacco Avenue is no longer active, we wanted to acknowledge its past presence.

Tobacco Avenue was a humorous blog that playfully highlighted the lighter and more satirical aspects of Richmond’s culture, politics, and people. It proudly billed itself as “Richmond’s most accurate source of misinformation.”

You can find the blog at


  • Named “Best Blog” in 2008 by RVANews.
  • Voted Best Blog in 2009 by readers of Richmond Magazine.
  • RVANews awarded Tobacco Avenue the “Post of the Year” in 2008 for a piece titled “Sources: NBC12 anchor Gene Cox pissed he didn’t make Style’s Power List.”
  • NBC12 reported on Jeff Kelley. Visit for more information.


Tobacco Avenue was launched in December 2007 as a satirical news site akin to “The Onion,” but with a focus on local news relevant to Richmond. The blog published fictional news stories on a daily basis.

Former Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter Jeff Kelley authored the majority of the articles on the site. The fictional “editor and publisher” was Randolph J. Strummer Jr., a nonexistent figure.

Contributors to the blog included cartoonist Travis Jones from The Martin Agency, who created weekly “Headlines” comics, and graphic designer Dana Craig, who produced Photoshopped art and mock “Tobacco Avenue Magazine” covers.

All articles on Tobacco Avenue were written in a professional news style, adhering to AP format to create an authentic news-like experience. Weekly columns, attributed to local residents or celebrities, were actually crafted by Kelley.

In February 2011, the blog attempted to rebrand itself as a general humor blog. However, after a few such posts, the blog went silent.


Similar to a genuine newspaper, Tobacco Avenue aimed for balance and moderation in its coverage and political perspectives. The blog frequently touched upon Richmond’s current events, national politics, pop culture, restaurants, and trends. While names were often fictionalized, public figures and well-known individuals or organizations were satirized using their real identities.

The blog became renowned for its recurring jokes, including:

  • Portraying NBC12 newsman Gene Cox as a superhero or legendary figure in Richmond.
  • Satirizing Mayor Dwight Jones as an enthusiastic eater.
  • Depicting Richmond mayoral candidate Paul Goldman, known as a political expert, as an extreme sportsman despite his thin and nerdy real-life persona in the city.
RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

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