Doug Cabral, editor of The Martha’s Vineyard Times for 28 years, and an owner for 23 of those years, told the newspaper staff today that his long run will end on May 1. Peter and Barbara Oberfest, co-publishers of the paper and partners with Mr. Cabral and his wife Molly since 1995, will become sole owners of the weekly and its collection of print and online products.
“I joined The Times in 1986, and Molly and I bought the paper in 1991,” Mr. Cabral told the assembled staff. “Peter and Barb came aboard a few years later. It’s been a gratifying partnership. The newspaper game has been great fun and very rewarding for Molly and me. Twenty-eight years with The Times and another eight years before that, between 1972 and 1980, with the Vineyard Gazette, have been wonderful, but it’s enough. Great fun, good people, an energetic, endearing, and somewhat peculiar community to keep track of – nothing at all to complain of. We just think we’ll do something else.”
Mr. Oberfest announced that Nelson Sigelman, who has been with The Times since 1986, beginning as an advertising salesperson, becoming a columnist, then a reporter, then news editor, then managing editor, has been named editor of the paper.
The Times was founded in 1984 by a group of five Vineyard business leaders, who described themselves as interested in sensible economic growth and greater attention to the expanding year-round population. Mr. Cabral, who will be 69 in December, joined the paper in 1986, at the founders’ request, after a few years away from the newspaper business altogether. In time, he changed the format from a broadsheet to a free, totally ad supported, total market coverage tabloid, began publication of the High School View newspaper, the sponsorship of the Scripps Spelling Bee local competition, and 55 Plus, the monthly newsletter of the Island Councils on Aging.
“We wanted to grow ourselves into the fabric of the community, from cradle to you-know-what. And, we have,” Mr. Cabral said, repeating a formulation he’s used on many speaking occasions.
Mr. and Mrs. Oberfest have led The Times through many iterations of the newspaper’s popular and award winning website, the creation of new print and online products, the modernization of production and information technologies, and the steady growth of advertising sales.
“Peter and Barb have a carefully thought through strategy for The Times’s next 30 years and the energy and ambition to implement that strategy,” Mr. Cabral told his staff.