We’ve missed you. It’s good to be back, but even more, it feels right to have the Gabber back in print. I can’t believe we almost lost this, but I should not have been surprised that so many of you stepped in to save us.
Let me be clear when I say “us”: I may have bought the paper, but you are the ones who kept us alive. You did this – and this, more than ever, is your paper. The Gabber belongs to the community we serve.
Since 1968, four families have owned the Gabber. George Brann started the paper, then sold it to Elsie and Ted Havness in 1979, who sold it to Ken and Deb Reichart in 1992. Last month, my former bosses sold it to me and my husband, Barry (longtime readers might remember him as El Cap.)
I have roughly 67 drafts of this letter scattered around me, and in a few of them I wrote “it’s a whole new day,” but that’s not true. The world’s changing, but Gulfport, thankfully, will always be Gulfport, and the Gabber? We’ll be right here. I can’t promise you we won’t publish things you don’t like, and I can’t promise you we’re all always going to agree, but I can promise you this: We will publish a paper every Thursday even if, as Gabber founder George Brann said, we have to publish on a postcard.
We have made some changes, but we think you’ll like them. Our print paper and website got a facelift, and you can now buy a classified line ad online – and search them online, too! We’re going to make it easier to reach out to our reporters as well – their contact information will appear with everything they write online. You may also have noticed more engagement on our social media platforms as we work to bring you the news in different ways.
Whatever we do, know this: Everyone at the Gabber will always put our community first. I know what this paper means to you, because it means that to me, too. It was the first place that took a chance on me, so many years ago. And this was the first community I felt I could call home. That’s a story I’ve heard repeated back to me many times over the years – whether you come from Alabama or New York City, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, it doesn’t matter. People come here and find a community that lets them just be who they are.
These past few months have been a world of change. It’s been scary, and some days it still is. But we are going through this together. That’s what a community does.
We see you. We feel your support, and your belief in our community and our collective future. We are yours, and we’ll be here… for as long as you need us.