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Photo by Christina Santucci
By Phil Corso

Right before U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) became a private citizen, the boroughwide newspaper he started in 1970 was sold.

Ackerman’s Queen Tribune, along with the 175-year-old Long-Islander and their sister papers owned by Tribco, were acquired on New Year’s Day by PFH Media Group NY, the newspaper said Friday. Control of the publications will now be in the hands of Brandy Williams, chairman of Washington D.C.’s Phoenix Financial Holdings, an investment group.

“I believe that exciting days are ahead for our new publications, and we look forward to building on their historic, journalistic foundations and growing them in the vital communities in which they serve,” Williams said.

The price of the deal was not released.

Michael Schenkler, the president of Tribco, who has guided the Tribune since 1978, made the announcement to the company Wednesday and will remain on board as a consultant for Phoenix Media. Phoenix will also retain the current staff at both the Queens and Long Island offices.

Ackerman, who founded and had a major stake in the Tribune, completed his more than 30-year career as a member of Congress Jan. 2 and was succeeded by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) after she was sworn in Thursday.

Other papers involved in the deal included The Record of Northport, L.I., the Half Hollow Hills Newspaper, and the Press of Southeast Queens along with some legal publications.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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