Cape Gazette turns 30

Paper founded by Dennis Forney and Trish Vernon in 1993
May 26, 2023

Memorial Day weekend marks 30 years since the first edition of the Cape Gazette hit newsstands in the Cape Region. 

Founded by Dennis Forney and Trish Vernon, the Cape Gazette has always focused on being a hyperlocal source for news in Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Dewey Beach, Milton and surrounding areas, with a beat reporter assigned to each local government, Sussex County Council and the Delaware Legislature, as well as comprehensive sports coverage of Cape Henlopen School District and, more recently, Sussex Academy and Delmarva Christian schools. 

Forney and Vernon passed the torch at the end of 2021, selling the paper to longtime staff member Chris Rausch, ensuring it remained local, and independently owned and operated. Rausch, a Delaware native, has been with the company since 2003. 

The first edition, published May 28, 1993, was 36 pages; this edition is 144 pages. The Cape Gazette was a weekly paper for the first 11 years, but started publishing a midweek edition every Tuesday beginning June 8, 2004.

The Cape Gazette has maintained a stable of longtime employees, including Dave “Fredman” Frederick, who’s written a sports column and covered local athletics since the very beginning. Also with the company for more than 20 years are Editor Jen Ellingsworth, who took over from Vernon in January 2022, previous classified manager and current subscription specialist Sandy Barr, senior designer Teresa Rodriguez, photographer Dan Cook, running columnist Tim Bamforth and golf columnist Fritz Schranck. 

On the editorial staff, reporters Ron MacArthur, Ryan Mavity, Melissa Steele and Chris Flood; Photo Editor/IT Manager Chris Foster; News Editor Nick Roth; Copy Editor Bernadette Hearn; and Editorial Coordinator Kristin Sinnott have all been with the company more than 10 years. In total, the Cape Gazette masthead boasts 41 full-time staffers and regular contributors who bring the newspaper to loyal readers each Tuesday and Friday. 

“It truly takes a team effort to get each edition of the Cape Gazette off the floor twice a week,” said Rausch. “I can't exaggerate how lucky we are to have such a dedicated staff. We feel very fortunate to have so many readers and supportive local advertisers that make the Cape Gazette part of their lives every week.”

As the Cape Region continues to grow, so does the Cape Gazette, as the paper bucks the nationwide trend by continuing to add print subscriptions while web traffic also has increased exponentially over the past decade.

Ideally situated just a few hours’ drive from Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., the Cape Gazette’s print subscriptions and web traffic reach an oversized audience compared to other community newspapers. 

In addition to the Cape Gazette, the hardworking staff continues to expand its service and product lines to serve readers and advertisers through a variety of special publications, and offer marketing services through its High Five division. 

The Cape Gazette office is located at 17585 Nassau Commons Blvd. Business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. For subscription information, go to or call 302-645-7700.


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