Longtime MV Times editor retires

Longtime MV Times editor retires

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Doug and Molly Cabral. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

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.


  1. The MV Times will not find a better writer with such good judgment on so many issues. This man was always balanced, always fair and diplomatic and highly eloquent on a wide range of issues. Hope he writes some articles every once in awhile.

  2. Yikes, Doug – hard to imagine the MVT w/o you, though I’m sure Nelson will carry it on. More evidence that we all are, indeed, getting older … I hope you and Molly have a fantastic retirement and that we’ll still see you issuing your opinions on a regular basis, perhaps an internet blog, at the very least? And I still hope for a book or two of bon mots from editorials and op-ed pieces.

  3. Doug..thank you for your wonderful contributions that have continuously enriched all our lives. The Times, under your leadership, has provided us all with countless hours of enjoyment.

  4. Mr. Cabral has been a stalwart steward of an embattled medium and the community is the benefactor, for he’s a jolly good fellow that nobody can deny. We need news, not some crappy fish story.

  5. Oh, wow. Of course, it’s that time, isn’t it. Yeah, I can’t imagine the Times without Doug Cabral. I enjoyed working for you and I continue to enjoy your writing. Great stuff. Wishing you all the best.

  6. To put a paper in every mailbox for free is quite an accomplishment. I dont know how much longer the Times can do that, but good luck in your retirement.

  7. Good luck Doug. Hope you and your lovely bride drench your retirement in fun and sun and many more dogs.

  8. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement. Unfortunately, the wrong Vineyard newspaper editor is leaving–the other one should have been kicked out years ago. I’m certain that under Nelson’s leadership, the Times will continue to run circles around her.

    1. It’s too bad there isn’t some new blood and life taking over. Nelson won’t have to write any editorials since every supposed news story he writes is infused with his opinions. We all already know how he feels about nearly everything. Very disappointing.

      1. Ditto. Why do we want to see the editorial column on the front page? Nelson only thinks as highly as himself as the King soon to depart

      2. tomatoes! The Editors ARE supposed to give their opinions in Editorials. That is what an editorial is. Duh! As for the other paper, as long as the owners are willing to subsidize, the editor will remain.

  9. Actually retiring, wow ! Few people realize how much effort it takes to get out a newspaper let alone finance it. Your effort and devotion to the people of the Island is quite impressive no matter how people felt about your observations. New blood will come along but an individual to encompass your skills will not be an easy search