Our History

Our History

Gazette Newspapers has grown to become the foremost source of community news and information in the affluent southeast corridor of Long Beach, Calif. Gazette Newspapers was born in 1978 as a small weekly for the Belmont Shore neighborhood called the Grunion Gazette. Fran and John Blowitz bought the paper in 1981 and built it into the dominant information source for east Long Beach. In 1988, they started the companion Downtown Gazette. In January 2004, the Blowitzes sold the Gazettes to MediaNews, the national newspaper powerhouse that also owns the Los Angeles Daily News, the Denver Post and more than 200 other publications. Owner Dean Single

Grunion Gazette

Grunion Gazette

With a circulation of 52,000, this paper reaches households with an average annual income of almost $100,000. Our readers are educated and most hold a college degree. They travel, dine out and use professional services more than any other demographic group of its size in Southern California. The papers are delivered free to residences, city libraries, tourist destinations, businesses and outdoor venues where the community shops, meets and greets. A Southern California lifestyle requires information, and we're where readers find it.

Simon Grieve

Publisher of Gazette Newspapers

A British import, Simon worked as a Product Manager for a large foodservice company and an Account Manager for a London advertising agency before heading for the California sun. He is married to Carla and they have three incredible children, Jaqueleen, Madeline and Alec. His greatest joy is his family and hanging out with their GSP dog Truman. sgrieve@gazettes.com

Harry Saltzgaver

Executive Editor

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California. In addition to his work on the paper, Saltzgaver currently is vice president of the Water Commission; for more than a decade years prior to that, he served as a commissioner for the Long Beach Parks and Recreation Commission. He also is on the Goodwill Serving the People of Southern Los Angeles County board and a trustee of the Grand Prix Foundation of Long Beach.

Stephanie Stutzman

Staff Writer

Stephanie studied psychology at the University of Arizona, but quickly learned that writing was the passion worth pursuing. Upon moving to California, her career focus has been spread between producing web copy for startups and writing articles for tech journals. As a member of the Gazette team, she’s looking forward to starting her journey as a new resident and reporter for beautiful and (mostly) sunny Long Beach.

Kurt A. Eichsteadt

Editorial Assistant

Kurt comes to the Gazettes with 30 years experience in broadcasting and journalism. He has produced and/or directed hundreds of television programs, including news, sports, entertainment, election coverage, town meetings and telethons. He has a B.A. mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Along with doing proof reading for the Gazettes, he writes weekly restaurant profiles and movie reviews. Also, he handles obituaries, the For A Good Cause column and the Calendar section.

Mike Guardabascio

Mike Guardabascio


Sports Guy Mike Guardabascio has been writing professionally for a decade, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards and is the author of the historical book "Football in Long Beach." In addition to his work as a sportswriter, he serves as the vice president of the Century Club, and he is on the Media Advisory Committee of the CIF Southern Section.

J.J. Fiddler

J.J. Fiddler


JJ has been writing about Long Beach sports for more than a decade since he started a sports section for the Union Weekly student newspaper at Long Beach State. He's written for multiple newspapers in Southern California, produced professional event videos and won numerous awards for his writing and community service.

Steve Harvey


Steve Harvey wrote the “Only in LA” column for the Los Angeles Times for 20 years. He also survived several assassination threats after originating the “Bottom Ten” sports column, which ranks the worst football teams in the nation. Harvey, born in Santa Monica, graduated with a bachelor's degree from USC. He served in the National Guard for six years, guarding Long Beach's shoreline, and now lives in that city.

Jim Ruggirello


Jim Ruggirello has written “Musical Notes” for over 10 years. A longtime musician, arts administrator and music educator, he is currently the supervisor at a cultural center and a church choir director.

Jo Murray


Belmont Shore resident Jo Murray has been a part of the Long Beach aquatic scene all of her life. She grew up as a live-aboard in the Alamitos Bay Marina. While attending California State University Long Beach, Jo worked as a tour guide on the Queen Mary, talking to tourists from around the world about the great things to see and do along the shore. She and husband David raised son Alec with the same aquatic focus. The entire family has been active members of area yacht clubs for decades.

Elizabeth Thomas


Eye on Art columnist Elizabeth Thomas grew up, mostly, in Long Beach. She is from Lakewood High School's graduating class of 1969. She is a mother and grandmother with two grown children — both married to fabulous people — and one grandaughter. Her first career job was at Walt Disney Studios marketing children’s records, books and films. She later spent 20 years in corporate and consumer product public relations and worked for nearly a decade in the fashion industry promoting emerging designers and new retail technologies. Among her professional kudos is a Grammy nomination, a BAFTA nod and a PRSA Silver Anvil Best of Show award.

Ralph Becker


Ralph Becker received a BA from Yale and an MBA from UCLA. After working in publishing at McGraw Hill and Dunn & Bradstreet, he joined Davidson & Associates in the educational software business for 15 years. In 2005 he received a certificate in college counseling from UCLA Extension, and co-founded Ivy College Prep, LLC, a counseling and test preparation center. Becker has published more than 155 articles on college counseling, and co-authored "SAT Vocab 800 Books A, B, C & D."

Jose Solis

Senior Graphic Artist

Jose received his Associates' Degree from Westwood College in Los Angeles. An artist at heart, Jose has worked on various movie and animated/stop-motion projects at Eyelumination Studios. His passions are art and his Mexican heritage.

Jesse Lopez

Digital Creative Specialist

Jesse is the Digital Creative specialist at Gazette Newspapers which is a fancy way of saying he's in charge of all things digital :) When he's not working on Gazettes.com you can find him creating digital video content or taking photos around town. He loves Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back To the Future and pretty much everything else from the 80's. What are you gonna do ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Jonathan Chandler

Digital Ad Sales Manager • (562) 400-5550

This British import has been with us since 1988 as an expert in retail marketing and is now part of our Adtaxi team. We simplify digital marketing for businesses everywhere, building custom solutions that leverage multiple digital platforms such as programmatic, search, email and social while focusing on the metrics that matter, conversions. We’re essentially a “one-stop shop” for your digital marketing.

Gerson Menjivar

Account Executive

Gerson is The Gazette papers Key account executive working with local advertisers to Larger corporations and Agencies. He has over 15 years experience in Marketing and loves helping businesses accomplish their goals. Gerson came to the Gazettes from our sister paper the Long Beach Press Telegram where he was their top rep. He also has worked as a National account executive working with Film studios and Entertainment venues in multiple markets. In his spare time he loves playing basketball and watching his daughter play soccer on her club team or just spending quality time with his family.

Julie Mckibbin

Publisher's Assistant

Julie is a Southern California native who as a child grew up loving Long Beach on her many visits while attending the Grand Prix every year with her Dad. Upon moving to the Bluff Park area of Long Beach; she looked forward to receiving the Grunion Gazette each week on her porch and was delighted to accept the Assistant to the Publisher position when the opportunity come up in 2013. She brings with her many years of working and managing in the entertainment industry and loves not only the high pace energy that surrounds the Gazette every week but working with each person that is a part of this paper.

Pamela Patterson

Accounts Receivable

Pamela comes to us from the City of Victorville where she worked a number of jobs before landing a job as Junior Accountant. After moving to Long Beach in 2005 Pamela found her job, Where else in the Gazette Newspaper! In her free time she enjoys spending time with her daughter Harmony and her family and friends.

Susan Stehno

Classifieds, Legal Ads, Admin Assitant

Susan is a California native who graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Cal State, Long Beach and also holds an A.A. in Interior Design. She has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and North America, and was fortunate enough to have lived in Berlin where she worked for the U.S. Embassy. Susan's daughter Quinn is a sophomore in college and sharing an apartment with two of her girlfriends in Beverly Hills. Susan and Mike recently got married in Incline Village, Nevada and as newlyweds who are empty nesters they enjoy traveling any chance they get.