Wednesday night at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, the Long Island Press hosted its 14th annual “Power List” event honoring the 50 most influential people on Long Island. This program marked a seminal milestone in the history of the Long Island Press, which was founded by Jed Morey of Morey Publishing in 2003.
Morey took the podium to kick off the event by announcing that earlier in the day he had finalized an agreement to transfer ownership of the Long Island Press to Schneps Communications, a regional publishing company that owns and operates several publications including The Queens Courier, events and websites throughout New York City and Long Island. Joshua Schneps, CEO of the company that his mother, Victoria, founded 35 years ago and is now President, concluded the program and spoke about the transition to a room filled with 250 power brokers on Long Island.
“My mother Victoria and I are humbled and excited about the opportunity to expand our reach on Long Island and take the helm of such a venerable news media brand that has meant so much to the Island,” Joshua told the crowd. He spoke briefly about his mother’s deep roots in advocacy and how she built an organization around the idea that an independent press is one of the most valuable aspects to a community.
Schneps Communications currently operates other media outlets on the Island including the Bethpage Best of Long Island program and hosts the annual Long Island Power Women in Business and Kings of Long Island events.
As of the sale, the Long Island Press welcomed an average of 250,000 unique visitors per month and had amassed more than 500 local, state and national awards during its tenure under Morey. The digital audience of Schneps Communications now exceeds over 2.5 million page views per month, 200,000 email subscribers and over 300,000 social media followers throughout Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn.
The tenor of the evening was somewhat muted in the beginning as Morey recalled the emotional journey from starting the Press to handing off the reins to Schneps. New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Canon USA General Counsel and Executive VP Seymour Liebman gave keynote addresses and both addressed the need for a free and independent media, particularly on the local and regional level. Their remarks were followed by the “Power List” Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a tradition at these events, which celebrates those who have appeared on the list at least five times. This year’s Inductees were Liebman, civil rights attorney and activist Frederick Brewington, public relations guru Katherine Heaviside and Huntington Town Councilwoman Tracey Edwards.
Each Power List member in attendance then participated in the ceremonial “Roll Call” – a lighthearted lightning round of introductions that culminated in a rousing ovation for the group of honorees center stage in the room. As the evening wound down, Morey announced the first of the final two awards of the evening. The first was presented to Isma Chaudhry of the Islamic Center, who was acknowledged as the Long Island Press Community Champion.
Morey then called Joshua Schneps to the stage to present the final award of the evening and pass the ceremonial torch from publisher to publisher. As Schneps took the podium, Morey took his place in the crowd and watched as the Enterprise Business Award was given to Linda Armyn of Bethpage Federal Credit Union. Schneps closed the program with a pledge to continue the commitment to journalistic quality and integrity that the Long Island Press has been known for over the past 15 years.
The Long Island Press began as an alternative newsweekly publication in January of 2003. Morey Publishing eventually transitioned from a weekly publication to monthly four years ago before finally migrating strictly online where it continues to grow its readership and thrive as a business.