Philanthropist Paula Kent Meehan buys the Beverly Hills Courier

The Beverly Hills Courier has been sold to Paula Kent Meehan, a former hair-care products executive turned philanthropist.

Terms of the deal for the feisty weekly tabloid were not disclosed.


Paula Kent Meehan: Articles in the April 19 and April 26 LATExtra sections about philanthropist Paula Kent Meehan's purchases of the Beverly Hills Courier and the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills reported Meehan's age as 83. Meehan, who died June 23, was 82.

Publisher Clifton Smith announced the long-rumored sale in a front-page story and a note to readers on Friday. The sale is expected to close within 30 days.

"Our longtime friend, Paula Kent Meehan, has had an interest in the Courier for many years," he wrote. "We share the same love of Beverly Hills and the same commitment to the city. She will be an excellent steward of your newspaper."

A Meehan representative did not immediately respond to requests for more information.

Founded by March Schwartz in 1965, the Courier has taken strong political stands on issues related to development and transit.

Smith, who lives in Pasadena but practices law in Beverly Hills, delivers opinions on civic matters in the heavily Democratic city through biting editorials that lean libertarian.

A Times story last year reported on some in Beverly Hills who felt Smith used the small but influential publication to unfairly attack critics and throw his weight around. The publication also acted as a watchdog, using public information laws to report on city employee salaries.

Smith praised Meehan as a proven philanthropist with "only the best of intentions."

In a note to readers, Meehan said she, Smith and his wife, Candace, had been friends for years.

She added that she planned to name Marcia Hobbs, the longtime associate publisher of the Courier, as the new publisher.

Meehan, 83, donated millions to the restoration of the Beverly Hills Post Office and the creation there of the new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

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