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    Businessman R. Bruce Besten, a Louisville native, has taken the reins of Kentucky's largest paid weekly newspaper.

    John H. Harralson Jr., the former publisher, will continue as editor and society photographer and will be a minority owner in the new company, ALMAC LLC. It is named after Besten's daughters, Ali and McCall.

    The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Besten, 47, has been interested in buying the paper - which has a circulation of 13,500 and a readership of around 60,000 - for several years.

    "I started calling John about four years ago asking him if he would be interested in selling, but the answer was always a resounding no," Besten said. "I guess this is a case of when persistence paid off."

    Besten said the paper has a "nice little niche" in the community, and that there will be no "drastic changes" in the paper.

    "We want to continue to build on the strong community support and expand our niche," he said.

    Besten attended Ballard High School but finished high school in Illinois. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in business and received his master's degree in business from Bellarmine University. He is married to the former Julie Case, a Ballard graduate.

    Besten is a former Papa John's Pizza franchisee and also worked for PNC Securities Corp. and as a business consultant.

    The paper has a staff of 14 people.

    Harralson, 78, had been publisher and editor since 1987, when his Southern Publishing Co. bought the paper. The Voice was founded in 1949.

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