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Schenkler & Ackerman
Reacquire Queens Tribune

By MICHAEL SCHENKLER

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It has been a journey of about a year and a half — the most recent leg of the 32-year history of the Queens Tribune.

The paper was started by Gary Ackerman in 1970 — I became Gary’s partner in 1979 — and was sold in 1989 by Gary and me to News Communications, a media company where I served for six years as president and a decade as a board member. Now it has changed hands for just the second time in its 32-year history.

The paper has come home to Queens.

Earlier this week, an odyssey I began a year-and-a-half-ago ended as a group of investors joined Gary and me in purchasing the Queens Tribune, the PRESS of Southeast Queens and Multi Media, our printing, promotions and public relations company.


Tribune Publisher
Michael Schenkler
and Congressman
Gary Ackerman reacquired
the Queens Tribune
publishing company.

Like many other businesses, we, too, felt the impact of 9-11 and the economic implications of the terrorist attack. A deal, which I basically crafted earlier that year, came tumbling down when funding was lost due to the nation’s tragedy and economic uncertainty.

With the help of Ackerman and a small group of friends and partners, we forged ahead, restructured and refunded. And just this week we closed our acquisition deal as the Tribune’s proud owners, once again.

Our first official issue as new owners was last week’s glossy-covered tribute to Queens as home to the world. I couldn’t imagine a more fitting beginning to my third consecutive stint at the helm of the Queens Tribune.

I shall serve as president and CEO of the new company with the mission of building and growing the business, while providing the people of Queens with expanded comprehensive coverage of the borough as we continue our tradition of innovation and advocacy journalism.

Michael Nussbaum, our longtime friend and associate publisher, joins Gary and me and a small group of investors in this exciting undertaking. Perhaps in weeks to come you’ll get to meet some of our new friends and investors and realize that the commitment to quality community journalism is alive and well right here in Queens.

In this space – in weeks and months to come – you’ll hear more about our unique publishing adventure. We are here to serve the communities that have been part of our life well before Gary and the presses gave birth to the Tribune more than three decades ago. We are here to serve the advertisers, who continue to support us because they believe in the borough and in our unique response-oriented style of publishing. Above all, we are here to serve the people — our loyal readers and our new readers — because it is their stories that fill our pages and give us the reason to exist.

Yes, in the most recent leg of its 32-year journey, the Tribune has come home to Queens. But the biggest challenge and the greatest rewards lie ahead.

Come share them with us.

The Tribune is your paper.

Let us know what you think.

Henry Stern:
Does The Liberal Party Have A Future?

By HENRY STERN

Despite the Liberal Party’s dismal showing on Tuesday, obituaries for the 58-year-old third party are premature.

The Liberals fell well below the 50,000 minimum required for recognition as a political party in New York State. But this does not necessarily mean they will go out of existence. They may organize, if they wish, and nominate candidates by petition as other minor parties do and have done in the past. This is an issue the party must decide for itself.


Henry Stern

There are several major reasons for the debacle.  The main one is that the party’s candidate for Governor – Andrew Cuomo – withdrew from the race early in September, even before his anticipated defeat in the Democratic primary. He then supported his former rival, Carl McCall, in hopes of retaining his future political viability.

But the presence at the top of the ticket of a non-candidate who was in fact supporting someone else created an impossible situation for the Liberals. Why should anyone vote for Andrew  Cuomo if he won’t even vote for himself? This was the problem when Alan Hevesi ran on the Liberal line for Mayor in 2001 . . . he received a mere 8,027 votes. However in politics, as in baseball, there is always next year, as State Comptroller-elect Hevesi has just shown us.

It was originally hoped that Cuomo would receive a protest vote, such as Betsy McCaughey Ross did in 1998, which gained Column E for the Liberals. But the presence of Thomas Golisano on the Independence line meant there was another Italian-American seeking protest votes and he spent more than $60 million to find them. 

Another reason for the loss was the presence of competing left parties . . . the Greens and Working Families. These groups are more radical than the Democrats; they appeal to those who feel the Democratic Party is too moderate, too Republican for them. People who actually believe in socialism, the welfare state and appeasement of hostile regimes now have two homes from which to choose, and the Liberal Party is neither of them.

The logical choice for the Liberals this year, if they were to choose a major party candidate, was Governor Pataki, for whom many centrist and liberal-minded New Yorkers voted. The Conservative Party is said to have vetoed such an endorsement, on the ground that a tent that big was just too much for a party founded in 1962 to drive the Republican Party to the right.

The Liberals could also have tried to recruit an independent candidate, preferably self-supporting, whose best attribute would have been integrity, since the major parties are hopelessly compromised by what politely may be called the requirements of politics, more rudely stated as “honest graft.” But in recent years this has not been a Liberal strong point.

I believe there is a place in the New York State political spectrum for a center party, a liberal influence on the Republicans and a standard of integrity for the Democrats. But a political party requires men and women who believe in its principles and are willing to work hard to carry them out. It cannot be created by a single person, no matter how talented he or she may be.

The above is not intended as an examination of the Liberal Party and its historic and valuable role in New York State and New York City politics. It is simply a comment on the recent election and a suggestion that the party’s role is not yet concluded, although that is a possibility, depending on the will of its members.

Henry Stern was first elected council-member-at-large on the Liberal Party line, representing Manhattan, in 1973.  He resigned in 1983, when he was appointed Parks Commissioner by Mayor Koch. He later served (1994-2002) as Mayor Giuliani’s Parks Commissioner. His Liberal Party ties go back to 1951, when he was elected chair of the Young Liberals at City College, and participated in Rudolph Halley’s successful campaign on the Liberal line for City Council President.  When he was appointed to Parks in 1983, he resigned from all party positions; he was then serving as a state vice-chairman and had previously been New York County chair of the Liberal Party. He is founder and director of NYCivic, a good government group. He can be reached at: starquest.nycivic.org.

Press Release

Ownership of the largest weekly newspaper group in Queens changed hands today. The Queens Tribune, a 32- year-old award winning weekly, was acquired by an investment group headed by its Publisher of the past 24 years, Michael Schenkler and Congressman Gary Ackerman.

The Tribune, sold in 1989 by Schenkler and the paper’s founder Gary Ackerman to News Communications, a media company which publishes Dan’s Papers in the Hamptons and The Hill in Washington, DC, is being reacquired from that company.

The new company, Tribco, LLC, will continue to conduct business out of the Tribune Building on the service road of the Long Island Expressway, publishing the nine weekly editions of the Queens Tribune and the PRESS of Southeast Queens and operating Multi-Media, its printing, graphic and public relations subsidiary.

Joining Schenkler and Congressman Ackerman as investors and board members in the new company are: Tribune Associate Publisher Michael Nussbaum; Gary Weiss, principal in the advisory services firm, Valeo Partners; and Warren Cohen, former president of Eagle Electric Manufacturing and principal in Valeo Partners.

According to Schenkler: “The new company is committed to quality journalism, community advocacy and providing advertisers with a high-quality, response-oriented, cost-effective medium. We intend to build upon the Tribune’s history of innovation to grow our company in concert with the best interests of the communities we serve. We intend to have fun and make a difference while doing it.”

Not4Publication.com by Dom Nunziato

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Michael Schenkler can be reached at: MSchenkler@queenspress.com

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