Hudson News CEO James Cohen to Buy National Enquirer for $100 Million (Report)

American Media has been looking to unload the troubled supermarket tabloid

Last Updated: April 18, 2019 @ 11:17 AM

Hudson News group CEO James Cohen is planning to purchase the National Enquirer for $100 million, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The deal includes two smaller tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner, and will shrink American Media Inc.’s debt to 355 million, the paper also reported.

Reps for Hudson News and AMI did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

Cohen had been one of several buyers floated for the troubled supermarket tabloid in recent days, particularly after billionaire investor Ron Burkle and Paul Pope, a son of Enquirer founder Generoso Pope Jr., denied their interest in purchasing the property.

The tabloid has been a longtime staple of American Media but has lost money in recent years as its average weekly sales dropped nearly 60 percent since 2014. AMI chief David Pecker had faced pressure from the company’s primary investor, Anthony Melchiorre and his hedge fund Chatham Asset Management, to unload the tabloid, according to the Post.

The tabloid has also faced legal scrutiny and public relations headaches over its support for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and possible legal action for its reporting on an extramarital affair by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

According to the Post, Melchiorre was personally “disgusted” by the tabloid’s reporting tactics.

Federal prosecutors have been weighing whether to revoke an immunity deal granted to Pecker after Bezos accused the Enquirer of trying to extort him with salacious photos and text messages sent to his lover Lauren Sanchez, according to a February report in the Wall Street Journal. (“American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos, the paper’s rep said at the time, promising to “promptly and thoroughly investigate” Bezos’ accusations.)