Edward Bell

J. Edward Bell. File/Provided

The Charleston City Paper, an alternative weekly publication that focuses on the region's culture and entertainment, has been sold.

New owners Ed Bell and Andy Brack announced the sale on Wednesday.

Bell is a Georgetown lawyer and president of the Charleston School of Law. Brack, of Charleston, is editor and publisher of the online Statehouse Report, which includes news and commentary about South Carolina legislative issues.

Andy Brack

Andy Brack.

The partnership — City Paper Publishing LLC, which was founded in June — purchased the newspaper from Noel Mermer, its publisher and founder in 1997.

The financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Mermer called the news "exciting," adding it allows the free weekly to stay under local ownership.

"Having Ed and Andy at the helm provides outstanding stability for the City paper's dedicated team of professionals and for loyal readers who dive into the paper every Wednesday to learn what's happening and just plain cool," Mermer said in a statement.

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Bell said the City Paper provides "an alternative leadership voice in the greater Charleston community."

Mermer, in a column published this week, said there have been "plenty of offers" to buy the City Paper during its 22-year history, "but none of them felt quite as right as that of Andy Brack and Ed Bell."

He said the decision to sell the paper is "more personal than anything else, as life's challenges have come our way." Mermer wrote in December that had has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The newspaper has a circulation of about 40,000 copies and says it reaches 110,000 readers a week.

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_