In a press release issued this afternoon, Village Voice Media says it is selling its Emeryville-based paper to an investment group led by current editor Stephen Buel, AAN veteran Hal Brody, and Express co-founder Kelly Vance. Monterey County Weekly founder and CEO Bradley Zeve is also one of the investors. Brody, who owned Pitch Weekly in Kansas City until he sold it to New Times in 1999, will take over as publisher. The Express, which was founded in 1978, has been owned by New Times/VVM since 2001. "It's great that Hal and Steve will be taking over the Express," VVM chief executive officer Jim Larkin says. "They are amazingly talented people who will devote themselves to continuing the paper's excellence." Editing the Express "is the best job I've ever had," Buel says. "It will be an honor to build upon the legacies left by the founders and Village Voice Media."