Village Voice Media Sells ‘East Bay Express’ to Editor, Investors

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By: E&P Staff

Village Voice Media (VVM) is selling the East Bay Express to a group of investors headed by Editor Stephen Buel, alternative-weekly vet Hal Brody, and Express co-founder Kelly Vance.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Buel will continue to edit the Emeryville, Calif.-based paper. Brody will become publisher and Vance will become the paper?s chief film reviewer. The group of investors also include Bradley Zeve, founder and CEO of Monterey County Weekly.

According to a press statement, there will be no job cuts. Employees will be retained by the new owners or by VVM.

?It?s great that Hal and Steve will be taking over the Express,? Jim Larkin, CEO of VMM, said in a statement. ?They are amazing talented people who will devote themselves to continuing the paper?s excellence. This was an offer we simply couldn?t refuse.?

The East Bay Express was founded in 1978 and purchased by New Times, VVM?s predecessor, in 2001.

?Reading the early issues of the Express is what motivated me to do this kind of journalism, and editing the paper is the best job I?ve ever had,? said Buel in a statement.

Buel?s alt-weekly experience began in 1985 when he founded a paper in Little Rock, Ark. He was hired to edit the Express shortly there after. Buel also worked for the Berkeley Gazette, Albany Times-Journal, and San Jose Mercury News.

Brody launched The Pitch in Kansas City almost 30 years ago. He served as the publisher of the paper before selling it to New Times in 1999. Vance was one of the Express? original investors and has acted as a film reviewer and calendar editor for many years.

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