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Queens Tribune buys L. I. chain of community papers

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Both chains are private companies and editors declined to say how much the paper was purchased for. Editors at both papers said Tuesday that no jobs will be cut and readers should not notice any immediate changes at the papers."Right now we are still examining how both of our newspaper groups can sort of help each other," said Brian Rafferty, managing editor of the Queens Tribune. He added that if any changes are made, they will probably involve adding staff at the Long Islander group.The Fresh Meadows-based Tribco LLC publishes nine editions of the Queens Tribune and one edition called The Press of Southeast Queens, for a combined free circulation of 169,000 and a paid circulation of 2,000 in 2005, according to the New York Press Service.The Long Islander chain, based in Huntington, currently has a staff of 12 and a combined weekly circulation of 19,200, according to Peter Sloggatt, the group's managing editor who also now holds the title of associate publisher. The group's titles include The Long Islander in Huntington, The Record in Northport, The Half Hollow Hills in Melville and Dix Hills, and the Northport Journal, an arts and history weekly.The Long Islander group also publishes four monthly journals for the bar associations of Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, which editors said would be untouched by the purchase.Sloggatt said the papers will cooperate and share resources, but editors do not plan to use content from one chain in the other's newspapers."It's communities with different personalities," Sloggatt said. "The philosophy is you tailor things to your communities."Long Islander Newspapers' previous owner and publisher, James Koutsis, will continue to work as a consultant during the transition, the papers said.Rafferty said the deal was a chance to expand Tribco's reach and boost revenue."We see the great potential of the area of Huntington and the surrounding areas," he said. He added that the Long Islander's history appealed to Michael Schenkler, the Queens Tribune's publisher.A young Walt Whitman founded The Long Islander in 1838 and sold it shortly afterward, according to literary and biographical sources."We have great ideas for the continued expansion and growth of the Long Islander Newspapers, and are excited to meet the challenges this new acquisition brings," Schenkler said in a statement.The Queens Tribune was founded in 1970 by Gary Ackerman, now a U.S. congressman representing northeast Queens and northwest Nassau county. He remains on the company's board of managers.Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 188.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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