Fox Entertainment is acquiring Hollywood gossip website TMZ from WarnerMedia.
The deal is valued at less than $50 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Under terms of the agreement, FOX will own and operate all TMZ-branded linear, digital and experiential assets, including its hit syndicated magazine programs, “TMZ” and “TMZ LIVE,” both of which air on 18 network affiliates owned by Fox Television Stations; the dedicated sports site TMZ Sports and program “TMZ SPORTS,” which airs on FS1; and celebrity tour operations in Los Angeles and New York; and in a significant expansion of Fox’s digital footprint, the flagship website TMZ.com and its celebrity and culture outlet, TooFab.com.
TMZ provides Fox the opportunity to further market and monetize the TMZ brand across its station group, ad-supported streamer Tubi, and other Fox-owned platforms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
TMZ founder and managing editor Harvey Levin will remain with TMZ and continue to oversee day-to-day operations for the brand from their Playa Vista offices. He will report to Rob Wade, Fox Entertainment’s President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials. Levin and the late Jim Paratore founded TMZ back in 2005.
“The unique and powerful brand Harvey has created in TMZ has forever changed the entertainment industry and we’re excited to welcome them to FOX,” said Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation. “TMZ has been an impactful program for our FOX television stations and broadcast partners for many years and I know Jack Abernethy and Charlie Collier will find creative ways to utilize and expand this content in effective and compelling ways for our audiences.”
“When I see a breaking celebrity-related story that is equal parts shocking, fun and addictive, I know it’s TMZ,” said Collier. “Whether via broadcast or digital, TMZ has brought its brand-defining energy and sense of urgency to fans across the planet. We see great potential in building upon this franchise by adding new creative ventures with Harvey and everyone at TMZ. Here’s to Harvey, Charles [Latibeaudiere] and the team leaning over FOX cubicles for years to come.”
“Harvey Levin created a groundbreaking destination for entertainment news, and for the past 15+ years TMZ has celebrated great success. TMZ will now be more closely aligned with the distributor of the popular content they create, and WarnerMedia wishes Harvey and everyone on the team the best as they venture into a new partnership with the talented team at FOX,” said Channing Dungey, Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group.
“We couldn’t be more charged,” Levin added. FOX Entertainment is opening up a world of opportunities for TMZ to grow our current platforms and expand in every which way!”
Levin previously produced and hosted the series “OBJECTified” on Fox News in 2017, a series that featured intimate interviews with high profile newsmakers and celebrities, telling their life stories through the objects they’ve chosen to keep over the years.
The series ran for two seasons and profiled former president Donald Trump, Mark Cuban, Simon Cowell and Kris Jenner, among others.