Gambit, New Orleans’ signature weekly news and entertainment paper, has been purchased by the parent company of The New Orleans Advocate.
Advocate owners John and Dathel Georges purchased the weekly from Margo and Clancy DuBos, native New Orleanians who have owned Gambit since 1991. Terms were not disclosed.
John Georges said the purchase was in line with his vision of preserving iconic Louisiana brands and creating a locally owned media company dedicated to traditional journalistic values, in print and online. Besides The Advocate, which they purchased in 2013, the Georges own the St. Tammany Farmer and weekly newspapers in Zachary and East and West Feliciana parishes. The Advocate is the state’s largest newspaper.
“Dathel and I believe Gambit is a perfect fit with our other media properties and performs an important role covering Louisiana’s unique mix of arts, entertainment, politics and culture,” John Georges said. “We want to keep Gambit locally owned and thriving.”
“Gambit will continue to be published as an independent voice with its own distinctive look and feel,” said Dan Shea, The Advocate’s publisher. “There may be some shared promotions and features in the future, but our plan is to let Gambit be Gambit. They have been highly successful, and this purchase ensures that Gambit will continue to succeed for years to come.”
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Gambit was launched in 1981 and currently distributes 36,000 free copies per week at 350 locations across metro New Orleans. Gambit also publishes the popular bestofneworleans.com website.
The DuBoses will continue with Gambit, Clancy as a columnist, and Margo as a business and marketing adviser. The couple has worked at Gambit from its earliest days — Clancy starting as a political columnist in December 1981, and Margo as an advertising sales rep in November 1982. Margo DuBos served as Gambit’s publisher from 1987 to 2016.
The DuBoses made Gambit one of the country’s most successful alternative weeklies, a genre which grew up in the 1970s as traditional daily newspapers eschewed coverage of social changes and other issues important to younger readers.
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“Looking to Gambit’s future, we wanted to make sure that what we built would continue as it always has, under a company that shares our vision and our mission,” Margo DuBos said. “When we bought Gambit in 1991, our goal was to provide local ownership of a beloved local institution — and to cement Gambit’s place as a strong, independent voice for the community we serve.
“Joining the Georges family of publications continues and strengthens our mission because it gives Gambit more resources than ever to serve our readers and advertisers.”
Gambit’s publisher Jeanne Exnicios Foster, editor Kevin Allman and advertising director Sandy Stein are all remaining with the company. The purchase will add two dozen journalists and ad sales staff to the combined Gambit-Advocate team.
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"Our writers will continue to tell the stories that matter most to Gambit readers, and our account executives and designers will continue to create print and digital products that are effective for our advertising partners,” Foster said. "Having so many talented people working together means more growth for both Gambit and The Advocate."
Sometime this summer, Gambit will move from its Mid-City location on Bienville Street to a building near The New Orleans Advocate headquarters near Lee Circle. The two papers will share the Advocate’s exhibition and assembly space at 840 St. Charles Ave., and plan to increase open-to-the-public programs that add to the civic life of the city. Gambit will be printed at The Advocate’s state-of-the-art print facility in Baton Rouge.