A deal to sell several Long Island community newspapers owned by Queens-based Tribco Llc to a Washington D.C. investment firm has been called off, Tribco confirmed Tuesday.

The purchase of all of Tribco's assets -- which consists of several small publications in the region -- by Phoenix Financial Holdings was announced Jan. 2. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, and sometime in the month that followed, it was dropped.

"The newspapers are back under the ownership of original board members and investors" of Tribco, said Michael Nussbaum, the associate publisher of Tribco's papers and a board member.

Nussbaum declined to give further details about why and when the deal was canceled.

Tribco owns The Long Islander -- one of the island's oldest publications and founded by poet Walt Whitman, the Half Hollow Hills Newspaper and the Record, which covers Northport and Commack. Its primary holding is the Queens Tribune, a paper founded in 1970 by former Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights).

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