AMI puts "National Enquirer" up for sale

Daniel Fowler
April 13, 2019

The parent of the National Enquirer said Wednesday that it is exploring a possible sale as part of a "strategic" review of its tabloid business. The Associated Press reported past year that Pecker kept a safe that held documents on hush money payments and killed stories, including records on ones involving Trump.

The New York City-based publishing company said in a statement its board had concluded a months-long review of its tabloid business, leading to the decision "to explore strategic options" for the US and United Kingdom editions of its National Enquirer, as well as its Globe and National Examiner publications.

The Enquirer, owned by American Media Inc. and led by David J. Pecker, a longtime friend of Trump's, is likely to be sold in a matter of days, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private negotiations.

"We have been keenly focused on leveraging the popularity of our celebrity glossy, teen and active lifestyle brands while developing new and robust platforms including broadcast and audio programming", American Media President and Chief Executive David Pecker said in a statement. According to reports, the tabloid allegedly paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 to take the exclusive rights to her claims that she had an extramarital affair with Trump.

The tabloid has been embroiled in a number of scandals surrounding Trump. The company agreed to stay out of trouble and "provide cooperation in the future".

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AMI's stable of titles that are not up for sale include Us Weekly, OK, Star, In Touch, Men's Journal, and Muscle & Fitness.

Trump and his lawyers have argued the payments were a personal matter unrelated to the election. The $4 Billion hedge fund controls an 80 percent stake.

That deal may be in jeopardy now that prosecutors are looking into the circumstances of the Enquirer's reporting about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Schwartz didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's not clear whether federal prosecutors have independent evidence to corroborate the claim that the Saudis hacked Bezos's phone or had any connection to the National Enquirer's story on his affair.

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