New tabloid focuses on arts, business, sports

Only days after Charlotte's Rhinoceros Times said it would drop its print edition and become an Internet-only product, its former marketing director says he plans to launch a weekly arts and business-oriented free tabloid called Accent on Charlotte.

Bob Dill, who was publisher of Charlotte magazine from 1991 to 1995 and had been managing sales at the Rhino since March, said Friday he plans to launch Accent on Oct. 14. It will also have a Web site.

He said he hoped to hire some of the Rhino's staff and get local radio hosts to provide columns.

Aiming for an audience of upscale 30-somethings, Dill said the publication would focus largely on business, arts, sports and some politics. It will not aim at the same market as the successful entertainment tabloid Creative Loafing. “We're going after the grown-ups,” he said.

Dill said he plans to have the paper printed at the Gaston Gazette and use the Rhino's former distributor, reaching the same drop points. He said he plans an initial press run of 25,000.

Partners in the enterprise include Bennie Warshaw, founder of the Charlotte Web design and development firm WEBPRO. Warshaw said he wants Accent to focus in part on technology, which he said is an underserved niche in the Charlotte market.

Greensboro-based Hammer Publications Inc. said this week that after six years, it will no longer print the Charlotte edition of the Rhinoceros Times, citing rising publication costs and declining advertising.