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Richner Communications to acquire L&M Publications

Richner Communications, a Garden City publisher of weekly newspapers, shoppers and coupon books on Long Island and elsewhere, said it will acquire smaller L&M Publications, which produces four weeklies on the South Shore in Nassau County.

Both companies are private, and terms of the sale weren't disclosed in an announcement Wednesday. The deal is expected to close during this quarter.

L&M is headquartered at the offices of its flagship paper, Merrick Life, which says it has about 3,000 total paid and requested subscribers. L&M also publishes Bellmore Life, The Freeport-Baldwin Leader and The Wantagh-Seaford Citizen.

The four papers have a combined circulation of about 8,000, the company said.

Richner owns Herald Community Newspapers, a 15-paper chain of weeklies on Nassau's South Shore.

Richner co-publisher Stuart Richner said in the announcement, "It's a strategically sound move for us. It strengthens our presence in the Freeport, Merrick and Bellmore communities and extends our reach eastward into Wantagh and Seaford, something we have been wanting to do for some time. It will enable us to better meet the needs of our advertisers."

The L&M papers are led by publisher Linda Toscano and editor Paul Laursen, the daughter and son of Faith and Johannes Laursen, who purchased Merrick Life in 1958 and later added the three other papers. Toscano said she is leaving the company. Faith Laursen died in 1993.

Richner Communications was founded by Robert and Edith Richner, parents of the current publishers, with the purchase in 1964 of the Nassau Herald, which serves the Five Towns, and the Rockaway Journal. Both are deceased.

Richner also publishes The Oyster Bay Guardian, The Jewish Star and The Riverdale Press in the Bronx. The company also publishes PrimeTime Xpress, a weekly shopping guide with 10 editions on the South Shore, and Xpress Coups, a quarterly coupon book. It has its own printing plant at its headquarters on Endo Boulevard.

The Richners also are principal owners of Broadstreet Media, which publishes weekly newspapers and shoppers in Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Jersey, and the New Jersey Marketeer, a shopping publication in northern New Jersey.

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