Long-Islander, news chain bought by Huntington group

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Long Islander Newspapers, a Huntington-based community newspaper chain whose flagship publication was founded by poet Walt Whitman in 1838, has been purchased by a group of town residents.

Lead investor James V. Kelly, chief executive of the Huntington-based consulting firm JVKellyGroup, will serve as publisher and chief executive, according to an article posted on the paper's website.

The investors group purchased the Long-Islander and two sister papers from Tribco LLC, parent company of the Queens Tribune.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and a call to Long Islander Newspapers last night was not returned.

The Long-Islander and its sister papers, The Record and Half Hollow Hills Newspaper, cover 22 communities and eight public school districts in Huntington.

The chain also organizes Dine Huntington Restaurant Week and publishes for the legal community through its legal media publishing division.

"We're excited by the resources that Jim Kelly and his group bring to the table," Long Islander Newspapers associate publisher Peter Sloggatt said in the article.

"Jim is a savvy businessman on a global level, but has a demonstrated and strong commitment to his community. We're looking forward to becoming tech-savvy and digitally adept in a way that would make Walt Whitman proud," he said.

Long Islander Newspapers will keep its staff, the article said.

A January deal to sell the chain to Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Phoenix Financial Holdings fell through. Terms of that deal and the reason for its failure were not announced.

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