When Marta Gouger began her career in journalism, her first full-time job was with the TIMES NEWS as a reporter back in 1981.

At that time her name was Marta Frable.

She left the newspaper in 1985 and went to the Pocono Record where she has had numerous promotions over the past 28 years.

Now, she is back at the TIMES NEWS.

Monday, Gouger began her duties as the new TIMES NEWS Editor.

She succeeds Robert "Bob" Urban, who held the position since 2006. He retired on June 1 after being employed at the TIMES NEWS for 27 years. Before being named editor in chief, he had been the newspaper's managing editor.

"It's great to be home again at the Times News," Gouger remarked. "I look forward to reconnecting with readers."

Gouger, a graduate of Palmerton High School, added, "Newspapers are an important part of the community fabric. In our watchdog role we can report on government happenings and the issues that affect the reader. A community newspaper can report your news like no other medium can."

"The Times News is not our newspaper," she continued. "It belongs to the reader and we want to hear from you with news tips and story ideas."

Fred L. Masenheimer, TIMES NEWS publisher, stated, We are fortunate to be able to attract a seasoned journalist of Marta's caliber to lead the TIMES NEWS."

"Marta started her career with us 30 years ago as a young reporter just out of college and we are very happy to welcome her return as an award winning writer and newsroom leader," he stated. "Her professionalism and her wealth of experience in online and digital publishing will be a huge asset as we move the TIMES NEWS into the future and work diligently to remain the newspaper of record for the region.

At the Pocono Record, Gouger last worked as senior editor for local and digital news.

Her duties included overseeing the daily operation of the Pocono Record's website, as well as working with reporters and other staff members.

Gouger had worked in features for nearly 20 years. She said, "In 2007 I went-back to my first love hard news. I took the job as managing editor for the online news product, shepherding the staff through a new frontier. Working with the online edition helped to fuel my addiction to breaking news, as well as sharpen my headline writing skills.

"Having grown up in a small town I understand the role of a newspaper in the community," she stated. "We have an obligation to report the scrapbook news as well-as the larger enterprise pieces that surprise and inform the reader. The meeting and event coverage in between is the bread-and-butter of a community newspaper."

Gouger said she will encourage staff to interact with people in the community. "We need to be more than just a black and white byline," Gouger explained. "We need stories of real people and let real people see us as members of that community."

At the Pocono Record, Gouger helped lead the newspaper staff to the prestigious Pennsylvania Newspaper Association's Keystone Sweepstakes Award four years in a row.

In addition to staff awards for online coverage and site design, Gouger has won numerous individual awards for news, feature and gardening stories.

She is a former president of the Pennsylvania Women's Press Association.

She lives in Brodheadsville with her husband Ronnie Gouger and has four stepsons, Erik Lindenmoyer of Allentown; Travis Lindenmoyer of Lehighton; Ronnie Gouger of Philadelphia and David Gouger of West Chester. They have four grandchildren.

(Readers may contact Marta at mgouger@tnonline.com [1] or at 610-377-2051, ext. 3141).