UPDATE: The Gabber will be returning to print on July 9. For more information, or to advertise, please click here.
On Monday, June 22, Ken and Deb Reichart passed The Gabber torch to Cathy Salustri Loper and Barry Loper, long-time Gulfport residents and community members. Deb and Ken owned the newspaper for 28 years.
“I’d like to thank Gulfport for supporting us all these years,” said Ken. “The Gabber has been like a third child to Deb and I, and we’ve been proud to take care of it. However, with the challenges from COVID-19, we decided to turn this into an opportunity to start something new.”
After nearly three decades of serving the community, Ken and Deb expressed confidence in the new ownership.
“We are honored to have former Gabber writer Cathy Salustri take the helm — she is the perfect fit. You’re in good hands, Gulfport,” said Ken. “Thank you for all the wonderful years, and we’ll see you around town.”
In March, as businesses closed and advertising dried up, the Gabber was forced to cease operations after over 50 years of publishing. Still, there was hope that the paper could be brought back to the community.
“The Gabber is a 52-year tradition in Gulfport and it is a huge part of what makes our city so special,” Cathy said on Monday. “It won’t be easy at first, but I look forward to greeting Gulfport with the Gabber every Thursday morning, even if, as Gabber founder George Brann once said, ‘we have to publish on a postcard.’”
The Gabber will announce a return-to-print date later this week.
“In many ways, Gulfport saved me,” said Cathy. “If I can help keep the Gabber, it’s the least I can do for a city that gives so much.”
While Cathy and the team behind the Gabber have some changes in the works, the heart of the Gabber will remain the same.
The biggest change to date is the Gabber’s office location. The new headquarters is in the heart of downtown Gulfport, in the Art Village Courtyard, 2908 B Beach Blvd. S. The Reicharts will list the original office building on 49th St. S. for sale.
Leading up to the sale of the paper, the Gabber team has been working hard to build a greater online presence as well. Earlier this month, the Gabber launched The Weekly, a Thursday newsletter with the best of the paper’s weekly content online.
“Fan favorite ‘The Gabs’ has gone to video as well, and we’re going to publish so much news online it won’t all fit in a print paper,” said Cathy. “More and more people will use our website as a natural extension of the paper they know and love.”
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