• Gabriel Donio

Gazette is sold; new era of local journalism begins


courtesy photo

I want to personally welcome J. Louis “Louie” Mullen, the new owner of The Hammonton Gazette. Mullen purchased The Gazette on September 30.


As the previous owner of The Gazette, I’m excited about what is coming next. A new era of local journalism has begun.


It’s also a good time for me to thank you, the readers, advertisers and people we’ve covered during the last 25 years. You are one of the two factors tied at the top of the list as reasons for our success during the last quarter-century.


The other factor is, of course, our excellent staff, including Gazette Editor-in-Chief Gina Rullo, Sports Editor Dan Russoman, Lead Graphic Designer MarySusan Hoffman, Staff member Jaime Wuillermin, Staff Writer Sean Friel, Staff Writer Joseph F. Berenato, longtime columnist Donna Brown, Gazette In Fashion Host Franki Rudnesky, photographers Betsey Karl and Jennifer Bailey and everyone who contributed to The Gazette throughout our long existence.

We received an offer from Mullen, and as the owner and sole shareholder, I made the decision to accept it.


It is the right time.


I’m looking forward to what’s coming next for The Gazette. It is the new owner’s intent to retain all current staff.


Mullen owns newspapers in a number of other states, including weeklies in Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Michigan and Iowa.


I know he will maintain our commitment to quality community-minded journalism as he moves forward as the new owner of The Gazette.


The Gazette will continue to serve the local readers of Hammonton and the surrounding area under its new ownership.


Our team has done outstanding work for the last quarter-century. Now it is time to build on that excellent journalistic and business record. Mullen and his larger media company will have many resources they will be bringing to The Gazette.


It will be a fusion of local, experienced journalists with new vision, energy, abilities and the strength that comes with being part of a larger network of newspapers.


During the coming weeks and months, we look forward to maintaining the proud journalistic tradition and commitment to local coverage coupled with fresh, new ideas and a long-term plan for The Gazette going forward.


The goal, as always, is to keep the public informed by letting them know what is happening in Hammonton and the surrounding area, every week. The foundation that we built is strong. The new era that will be built on that foundation will be strong as well. Mullen and his organization have the tools and the talent to do even greater things with The Gazette in the coming months and years.


It has been my great pleasure to serve as The Gazette Publisher along with Gina Rullo as The Gazette Editor-in-Chief. As this new era begins, there will be some continuity bridging the previous era with the next.


I would ask those readers, advertisers and the people we cover to continue to support The Gazette as it moves ahead, making new history under its new ownership. Supporting local journalism—as you have for the last 25 years—is the best way to ensure it is maintained in the coming years.


There have been many words written by me in this space during the first era of The Gazette, a chapter that is now closed. Some of those words have made you laugh (the Town Hall Quiz) some have made you cry (the column I wrote after my father, Frank Donio, died) and some have inspired you (“Don’t Quit,” “Persistence,” and of course, “Stone Soup.”)

Gina and I will continue writing for The Gazette.


Thousands and thousands of words defined the first 25 years of The Gazette. As we look to the future and the new era of The Gazette under the new ownership of J. Louis “Louie” Mullen, I only have two words:


Thank you.


Gabriel J. Donio is the publisher of The Hammonton Gazette.