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Queens Tribune owners sell 8 Long Island weeklies

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“We sold the Nassau Group because it does not fit into our plans,” said Jerry Finkelstein,...

By Adam Kramer

News Communication Inc., which owns the Queens Tribune, recently announced the sale of its Nassau Community Newspaper Group to competitor Richner Communications.

“We sold the Nassau Group because it does not fit into our plans,” said Jerry Finkelstein, chairman of the board and director of News Communications Inc. “We own The Hill, which makes a fortune, and Dan’s Papers, which does well. Nassau does not fit into our future, we are interested in buying big publications.”

News Communications sold its eight Long Island weekly newspapers — which recently had been consolidated from 12 papers published under The Record banner — to the Herald Community Newspapers for an undisclosed price.

Cliff Richner, co-publisher of Herald Community Newspapers in Lawrence, L.I., said both companies published similar publications in “small targeted markets.”

“From an economic point of view it is difficult to sustain two papers in a small town,” he said. “Combining the papers would create stronger papers.”

Herald Communications plans to fold six of the News Communications properties into its existing papers and to publish both the South Shore Record and The Record of Elmont, Franklin Square and West Hempstead, Richner said.

News Communications will continue to publish eight weekly newspapers in Manhattan, Queens and Washington, D.C. Last year, the company sold its weekly newspapers in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

It also is holding onto the Hill. a Washington weekly that covers Congress, and Dan’s Papers, which covers the arts and entertainment on the Hamptons on Long Island.

News Communications was formed in 1986 when Finkelstein started snapping up weekly papers in the city. He bought the Queens Tribune from U.S. Rep, Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) in 1989.

Amid reports that the Queens Tribune has been sold, Finkelstein said News Communications still owns the paper but would consider selling it for the right price.

“It has not been sold,” he said. “If offered a big purchase price, we would consider it, but I doubt it.”

Michael Schenkler, publisher of the Queens Tribune, did not return phone calls regarding the sale.

Ackerman’s spokesman, Jordan Goldes, said there was not a deal to sell the paper, but News Communications was looking for a new chief executive officer. The former CEO, Steven Farbman, is no longer with the company.

He said Ackerman still owns stock in News Communications but no longer sits on its board of directors. Ackerman stepped down two years ago, he said.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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