Schneps Media Acquires Fire Island News

FI Lighthouse by James Hardy
Fire Island Lighthouse. Photo by James Hardy.
James Hardy

Schneps Media, the largest local news group in New York State, has acquired the Fire Island News, the longest-running newspaper covering the barrier island and Great South Bay Suffolk County communities.


Schneps purchased the News for an undisclosed sum from Chris and Laura Mercogliano, who ran the newspaper for nearly a decade and also recently sold The Palms Hotel group in the Village of Ocean Beach, Fire Island’s unofficial capital.


“We were fortunate to assemble a team of passionate professionals who worked with our family to invigorate this timeless publication,” said Laura Mercogliano. “Having accomplished our goal of sustaining part of the Fire Island culture, we cannot imagine a better choice than the Schneps Media group to pass the torch to. We have complete confidence that this distinguished team will bring this publication to its highest potential.”


Schneps Media owns dozens of other newspapers, magazines and online media outlets across the New York Metro area, Philadelphia, and Florida, in addition to hosting more than 50 events annually. Locally, the company also publishes the Long Island Press, Dan’s Papers, Behind The Hedges, Long Island Family and Noticia Long Island


Long Island is known for its pristine beaches and summer tourism. Schneps Media will provide advertisers across the region with the opportunity to connect with those summering on Long Island from the Hamptons with Dan’s Papers to Fire Island with the Fire Island News.


The Fire Island News was founded in 1957 by Jay Trien, an attorney who was a 17-year-old high school student at the time he launched the paper. In its infancy, it vigorously covered Fire Islanders’ successful bid to block then-New York master builder Robert Moses’ plan to pave a highway down the middle of the 32-mile barrier beach.


That plan died when President Lyndon Johnson established the Fire Island National Seashore (FINS) as a part of the National Park System in 1964, preserving the communities and effectively sparing the largely car-free resort island from Moses’ bulldozers. The News has been the official newspaper of FINS for decades since, long establishing it as the paper of record for the island.


In recent years, the publication has continued its dedication to covering news and entertainment in all 17 residential communities from Kismet in the west to Davis Park in the east and all in between, including Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove, which is considered America’s first openly LGBTQ+ community.


Following growth of a year-round online presence, Fire Island News became the only Fire Island-based news publication to be accepted to membership by the New York Press Association in 2019.


The Fire Island News also covers and distributes throughout the communities of the Great South Bay. The publication had previously been biweekly for the past decade and has traditionally been published between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Schneps Media will be expanding the print newspapers frequency to ten issues during the summer season and expand to serve the Great South Bay communities on a monthly basis throughout the rest of the year starting this fall. It also continually publishes content online at


Shoshanna McCollum, an award-winning Ocean Beach-based journalist who has penned two books about Fire Island and has been the News’ editor-in-chief since 2015, will continue to lead the newspaper.


“I’m very excited to be taking this next step with Schneps Media,” said McCollum.


Craig Low, who has been the publisher of the News for just as long and will continue on in that role, said he looks forward to expanding the publication’s coverage under Schneps Media.



“For over 60 summers the award-winning Fire Island News has been the trusted source of news for the barrier beaches’ residents and vacationers,” Low said. “In recent years, the publication has included the south shore towns of Babylon, Islip and Brookhaven. It’s exciting to join the Schneps Media family to further serve the iconic Great South Bay region with print, digital and specialty events.”


“We look forward to serving Fire Island and the Great South Bay communities with quality local news and information,” said Victoria Schneps, Schneps Media President.


“We are pleased to have Shoshanna and Craig lead the business to ensure that our commitment to grassroots coverage and relationships continues and thrives throughout Fire Island and the Great South Bay,” said Joshua Schneps, Schneps Media CEO.