American Media LLC Plans To Sell 'National Enquirer'

Irving Hamilton
April 13, 2019

'Because of this focus, we feel the future opportunities with the tabloids can be best exploited by a different ownership.

The National Enquirer has been in the spotlight since it admitted to paying $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to prevent her from "influencing the election" with her allegation that she had an affair with President Donald Trump.

American Media LLC, the parent corporation of the National Enquirer, is "exploring strategic options" for the tabloid brand, according to its announcement. The meeting signals that the USA attorney's office is escalating its inquiry connected to Bezos's suggestion that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was behind a National Enquirer story that exposed his extramarital affair and his claim that the tabloid attempted to extort him.

AMI's principal investor, Chatham Asset Management, is "disgusted" with the recent scandals swirling around the Enquirer, according to the Washington Post, which broke the news late Wednesday.

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

The board for American Media began reviewing operations for the National Enquirer last August for the US (National Enquirer) and United Kingdom edition (National Enquirer Globe).

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The agreement stemmed from prosecutors' investigation of Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who helped orchestrate that hush-money payment. Pecker reached an immunity deal with federal prosecutors a year ago in their investigation into the payments.

Bezos took to social media to accuse the National Enquirer of blackmailing him. "It was a source that was well known to both Mr. Bezos and Miss Sanchez".

In a report, The Washington Post said AMI is reeling under financial struggle abetted by the falling circulation of Enquirer and rising debt.

American Media owns news, celebrity and sports publications such as Us Weekly, Star, OK!, In Touch, Life & Style, Men's Journal, Muscle & Fitness, Snowboarder and Surfer.

An attorney for AMI CEO David Pecker, Elkan Abramowitz, said in February that the source for the tabloid's story was "not Saudi Arabia".

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Exclusive: Jeff Bezos to meet with federal prosecutors on extortion and hacking claims".

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