East Bay Express editor Stephen Buel and a group of investors have purchased the 60,000-circulation alternative weekly from the Village Voice Media chain, which also owns the SF Weekly and other free weeklies nationwide. The deal closed yesterday (May 17) and the price hasn’t been disclosed. Buel’s partners in the deal are Hal Brody, who started an alt-weekly in Kansas City and sold it in 1999 to the firm that became Village Voice Media, and co-founder and calendar editor Kelly Vance. Another investor identified was Bradley Zeve, founder and CEO of Monterey County Weekly. The names of the other investors haven’t yet been published. E&P said 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 Mercury News. The Chron story includes quotes from experts discussing the sale, which is unusual in this era of media consolidation.