Thursday, August 24, 2017

Opinion: New Orleans Business Alliance responds to 'Is New Orleans Worth It?'

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Editor's note: Our cover story this week, "Is New Orleans Worth It?," has been widely read and discussed both on our website and Facebook page. State Sen. Conrad Appel wrote his own response on the website The Hayride. Author Kat Stromquist will be on Informed Sources Aug. 25 and The 504 Aug. 29 to discuss it further, as well as on Oliver Thomas' WBOK radio show very soon.

In the meantime, Quentin L. Messer Jr., head of the New Orleans Business Alliance, has written his own response, which we are publishing here.

Quentin Messer, head of the New Orleans Business Alliance.
  • Quentin Messer, head of the New Orleans Business Alliance.

“Is New Orleans Worth It?” was a compelling read on multiple levels. As the article outlines, there is very real disappointment among some in our local economy’s ability to absorb talented professionals. As leader of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), the economic development organization focused on growing the New Orleans economy, I felt compelled to respond.

First, despite the tremendous progress that has been made in our local economy, significant work remains for NOLABA and other partners in economic development, like Louisiana Economic Development, GNO, Inc. and the City, to create a robust economy that is capable of creating high-quality opportunities for talented corporate and not-for-profit management professionals who want to live in New Orleans.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Gambit TV: Bridal fashions

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 11:48 AM

Gambit special sections editor Katherine Johnson drops by WWL-TV to discuss this year's bridal styles: top-to-toe glitter, illusion-effect gowns and more.

(CUE's Bride Book is on newsstands now.)

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Gambit TV: Workleisure fashions in CUE magazine

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Brand-spankin'-new Gambit special sections editor Katherine Johnson stops in to WWL-TV to discuss "workleisure," or professional looks inspired by athletic wear. The trend also is broken down in this month's CUE, which is on newsstands now.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Editorial: Our pledge to you

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM

President-elect Donald Trump. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • President-elect Donald Trump.

America’s political landscape will change dramatically after the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in January 2017. Already there are mixed messages coming from his transition team as to some of the promises he made while running. For now, we can only go by the man’s words and how they may affect Louisianans.

In the weeks and months to come, we will be keeping an eye on the following:

• The president-elect has promised to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but has provided few details. As of mid-November, more than 339,000 previously uninsured Louisianans are receiving health care through the ACA. We promise to outline their options and find out from doctors which screenings, tests and procedures they should get done now should the ACA go away — with a special focus on women's health care. (Meanwhile, the open enrollment period continues through the end of January; visit

• The president-elect has made it clear that he does not believe in climate change and promises to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and key environmental protections. We promise to speak out for clean air, clean water and Louisiana’s fragile coast.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Farewell to Gary Esolen, Gambit's spiritual godfather

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 9:22 PM

  • Gary Esolen.

We at Gambit lost our founding father and longtime mentor Monday (Sept. 19) when Gary Esolen, the paper’s first editor and publisher, died at East Jefferson Hospital after a brief illness. He was 75.

In addition to his groundbreaking work at Gambit, Gary also was the co-founder and first executive director of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation (NOTMC). In all his many civic and professional endeavors, Gary was a passionate advocate for the people and culture of his adopted hometown of New Orleans.

Born in Hancock, New York, Gary attended LeMoyne College, a small Jesuit liberal arts college — whose name, appropriately enough, matches that of the founder of New Orleans. At LeMoyne, Gary met several New Orleanians who influenced him, including future civil rights leader Rudy Lombard and future state Senator Hank Braden. Gary earned a Master’s degree at Syracuse and finished his coursework for a Ph.D. at Cornell. He was a Wordsworth Scholar.

Writing was always Gary’s first love, along with great conversation. He left academia to work as a writer and made a list of cities to which he might relocate — the top three being Santa Fe, Toronto and New Orleans. Gary’s wife Valeri LeBlanc summed up his choice: “New Orleans won as he felt he could find a place here and become part of it.”

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Gambit food writer Helen Freund wins national award

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 12:18 PM

Gambit food writer Helen Freund won top honors at the Association of Alternative Newsmedia Awards in Austin, Texas July 9. Freund’s stories on blind culinary workers in New Orleans, as well as the restaurant scenes on Tulane Avenue and Kenner’s Williams Boulevard, won first places in the category of Food Writing among papers with a circulation of less than 45,000.

Freund is a veteran reporter who worked for the New York Post for four years as a general assignment and crime reporter. She covered crime for | The Times-Picayune before moving to Gambit in April 2015. Before moving to New York, Freund reported on dining and nightlife in Seattle. Freund also has worked as a professional chef and attained a culinary degree at Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu.

The Association of Alternative Newsmedia is the umbrella organization for 114 alternative newspapers and websites across North America, each of which focuses on local news, culture and the arts.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Gambit announces Jeanne Exnicios Foster as its new publisher

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 at 4:09 PM

Jeanne Exnicios Foster becomes Gambit's third publisher in its 35-year history. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Jeanne Exnicios Foster becomes Gambit's third publisher in its 35-year history.
As Gambit turns 35 years old, the paper is proud to announce a new publisher: Jeanne Exnicios Foster. Margo DuBos, who has been publisher for more than 28 years, will remain President and CEO of Gambit Communications Inc.

Foster, a New Orleans native, has worked at Gambit in various capacities for 15 years, most recently as Associate Publisher. She also is a member of the board of directors of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia.

“I am honored by the opportunity to become Gambit’s next publisher and to follow in Margo DuBos’ footsteps,” Foster said. “Margo’s dedication to great journalism, to well-designed products and to New Orleans have been the hallmarks of her tenure as publisher. I look forward to following her example and leading with a similar passion for both media excellence and New Orleans’ future.”

Margo DuBos, who with her husband Clancy DuBos has owned Gambit since 1991, is a graduate of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and currently serves on the school’s Board of Visitors. She began working at Gambit in the advertising sales department in 1982. She was promoted to advertising director in 1985 and was named publisher in 1987. Under her leadership, Gambit has become one of the most successful alt-weeklies in America.

“In recent years, Gambit has bucked all national trends in the newspaper business by constantly adapting to the industry’s changing landscape in order to serve our readers better and help our advertisers reach their customers,” Margo DuBos said. “For more than a decade, Jeanne has been an integral part of our innovations and our success. She also has a keen understanding of what makes Gambit indispensible to our readers, so I’m proud to see her take the reins as only our third publisher in 35 years.”

Clancy DuBos, chairman of Gambit Communications Inc. and Gambit’s political editor, echoed his wife’s confidence in Foster. “Jeanne understands in a fundamental way what Gambit means to our readers, and her commitment to fulfilling our mission of providing New Orleans with an alternative voice makes her the perfect choice to succeed Margo as publisher.”

Gambit Editor Kevin Allman expressed similar sentiments. “I’m excited about Jeanne as publisher,” Allman said. “We’ve worked together for nearly eight years, and she’s got a great grasp of both traditional editorial excellence and what a modern media company needs to do online to reach readers. Many of the paper’s most creative and successful initiatives of the last few years have been Jeanne’s ideas.”

A message from Gambit’s new publisher

I discovered Gambit in 1997 as a teenager, when I worked as a hostess at Semolina on Magazine Street. Every Sunday afternoon, a stack of papers would drop on the counter and people would file into the restaurant to pick up a Gambit. A few months later I moved to New York for college and my early exposure to Gambit steered me to picking up The Village Voice to help navigate a new city.

Every major U.S. city has a paper like Gambit. Many of these papers are part of an organization called the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. These local news organizations all share a passion for the communities they serve.

Almost 20 years after discovering Gambit, I still enjoy watching people pick up the paper. Gambit remains important to any New Orleanian who wants to stay informed about live music, food news, events, arts, politics, news and community issues.

After 15 years of working at Gambit in various roles, I am proud to take the reins of New Orleans’ own weekly. We will continue to produce innovative digital, mobile and print products (we produce quite a few fun events too!) — and connect local businesses with our 296,000 loyal print and online readers. Gambit’s staff is passionate about and energized by the people, places and things that make New Orleans unique.

Thank you for your support, and stay tuned for what’s next as we continue to cover New Orleans like no one else! — Jeanne Exnicios Foster

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Listen: Gambit's 2015 Music Issue playlist

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 4:40 PM


Over the last five years, Gambit's annual Music Issue has interviewed and profiled New Orleans artists-to-watch and caught up with some familiar faces. In the 2015 edition, Gambit looks at nine up-and-coming New Orleans artists and previews a few anticipated fall releases. Read it all here:

Below is a playlist of the Class of 2015. Listen to more music on Gambit's Soundcloud.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A note to Gambit crossword fans

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 4:37 PM


Last week's paper was the first in many years without a crossword puzzle. Gambit’s longtime crossword constructor, Merl Reagle, died Aug. 22 of complications related to pancreatitis. Merl was 65 and a legend in the crossword world; his death was memorialized in The New York Times (twice!), The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and other papers. And he had the ultimate honor of our age: a cameo appearance on The Simpsons.

In the weeks to come we will try out two crosswords that are popular in other alt-weekly newspapers. In Sunday's paper, you'll find both "Jonesin'," created by Matt Jones, and “The American Values Club Crossword,” edited by Ben Tausig. Both have the cultural references and wordplay that were so popular in Merl's puzzles — fewer clues about obscure rivers and dynasties, more clues about pop music and slang and lots of puns — some great and some so awful they're great.

Eventually we'll just run one puzzle, but we want to get reaction from the cruciverbalists among our readers (crossword solvers are a passionate bunch). Which one do you prefer?

Please let us know your thoughts. Email us with “crossword” in the subject line. Happy solving.

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Gambit crossword constructor Merl Reagle dead at 65

Posted By on Sat, Aug 22, 2015 at 3:22 PM

Merl Reagle played an animated version of himself (left) in a 2008 episode of The Simpsons.
  • Merl Reagle played an animated version of himself (left) in a 2008 episode of The Simpsons.

Merl Reagle, one of the world's greatest crossword constructors and a weekly contributor to Gambit since 2008, has died at 65, according to reports in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

According to reports, he became ill on Thursday with pancreatitis and died this morning in a hospital in Tampa, Florida, where he lived. Reagle is survived by his wife, Marie Haley.

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