American Media Inc. is looking to sell off the National Enquirer, as well as its other tabloid brands The Globe and National Examiner, the company announced Wednesday.
“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, and a live events business, that now deliver significant revenue streams,” AMI President and CEO David J. Pecker said in a statement Wednesday night. “Because of this focus, we feel the future opportunities with the tabloids can be best exploited by a different ownership.”
But according to the Washington Post, Anthony Melchiorre, who controls the hedge fund that owns an 80% stake in AMI, has become “disgusted” with the Enquirer’s reporting tactics and a sale of the supermarket tabloid is “imminent.”
“The Trump thing was an issue and Melchiorre was really disgusted by the Bezos reporting,” an unnamed individual told the Post.
According to another unnamed individual cited by The Post, the board of directors has been seeking a buyer for The Enquirer as early as August “because they didn’t want to deal with hassles like this anymore.”
The National Enquirer’s CEO David Pecker, a close friend of President Donald Trump, publicly admitted that the company paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 to silence her from talking about her relationship with Trump before he became president. The tabloid bought the rights to her story in order to bury it, a practice known as “catch and kill.”
In January, the tabloid published intimate texts between Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, the woman with whom he was having an affair. In early February, Bezos publicly accused AMI of attempting to blackmail him by threatening to publish explicit photos if he didn’t publicly state that the Enquirer’s reporting of his affair wasn’t politically motivated.
AMI did not immediately return a request for comment.