Clifford Luster, chief operating officer of Schneps Media, is mourning the loss of his father, Ed Luster. Ed, a beloved Brooklyn newspaper founder and friend, died Wednesday, June 22 at the age of 87.
Ed was a Brooklyn-born-and-raised newsman who spent his career working alongside his wife, Rhoda. Together, they created over 20 weekly news publications, including the Bay Ridge Courier and Caribbean Life newspapers.
After graduating from New York University with a Bachelors of Science in accounting, Ed started up Kings Courier and Flatbush Life with a friend. The Lusters later merged the two into Courier Life Publications in the early 1960s, and spent the next half a century building a media empire of nearly two-dozen community newspapers.
Today, Ed’s legacy remains within the pages of current Courier Life papers, such as the Bay News, Bay Ridge Courier and Park Slope Courier.
As COO of Schneps Media, which acquired Brooklyn Courier Life papers in 2018 via a merger with Community News Group, Cliff continues at the helm of the publications Ed and Rhoda helped pave the way for.
He remembers his father as enthusiastic, energetic, and optimistic.
“In a lot of ways he was empathetic,” said Cliff, adding that his father was one of the first publishers to embrace the computer age and incorporate themed sections in the paper. “He was a down to earth kind of guy, he wasn’t like a flamboyant guy. He really didn’t look for the spotlight.”
When he started working with his father in 1987, Cliff says they fought hard to build the company up together. Cliff recalls his dad being well-loved by both his employees and the Brooklyn community.
“Ed Luster was a visionary who made it financially possible, with his creative business ideas, to allow us all to be as devoted as we are to community news,” said Schneps President and CEO Victoria Schneps. “His impact immeasurably changed the landscape for community journalism.”
Ralph D’Onofrio, chief revenue officer at Schneps Media, remembered Ed as a trailblazer.
Ed is survived by his wife of 67 years, three sons and eight grandchildren.