The National Enquirer has finally been sold after seeking a buyer for years
(CNN) -- The National Enquirer, the 97-year-old controversial tabloid behind several bombshell celebrity and political scandals, has sold itself to a brand acquisition company.
American Media Inc. has offloaded the publication to VVIP Ventures, a joint venture between Vinco Ventures, Inc and a360 Media, for an undisclosed price, the companies announced Monday. The National Examiner and Globe, as well as the UK edition of the Enquirer, are also part of the sale.
The National Enquirer has made its mark on the media with wacky headlines and controversial stories, some of which have become mainstream media news, including stories about former President Donald Trump and Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos. Its owners have been looking to sell the tabloid since at least 2019 when American Media former CEO David Pecker said the company was under "intense pressure" to part ways with the Enquirer.
Pecker's close ties to Trump have also come under scrutiny for offering to "catch and kill" negative stories about him.
In one instance before the 2016 presidential election, the tabloid paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 for her story about an alleged affair with Trump. The story never ran and AMI said at the time that the money was for fitness columns. Trump has denied the affair. It also brokered a similar deal with adult film star Stormy Daniels.
In 2019, Bezos accused the Enquirer of extortion. The Amazon founder alleged that AMI threatened to release compromising photos of him. Bezos wrote a Medium post that included what he said were emails from AMI detailing what he described as blackmail. AMI has not commented on Bezos' claims.
The new owners told the New York Times that the titles were sold for "a little less" than $100 million and claimed the tabloids are profitable from its print and subscription sales. Moving forward, the plan is to expand into TV, film, and podcasts as well as harness the new company's digital ad network.
The deal is expected to close in the coming months. AMI also owns Us Weekly, OK, Star, In Touch, Men's Journal, and Muscle & Fitness, but those magazines are not part of the deal with VVIP Ventures.
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