The scandal-plagued tabloid National Enquirer, which used “catch-and-kill” tactics to hide revelations about Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, has been sold to a business magnate with a troubled background of his own.
The Enquirer’s parent company, a360 Media, announced on Monday that it had struck an agreement to sell the tabloid, along with the National Examiner, the Globe, and the National Enquirer UK, to a group led by disgraced former MoviePass chairman Theodore Farnsworth.
According to The New York Times, Farnsworth, who was charged with securities fraud last November, stated that the agreement for the Enquirer and the other titles was worth approximately $100 million.
The Enquirer was apparently for sale for around four years before Farnsworth purchased it as part of a new firm, VVIP Ventures, formed by Vinco Ventures and Icon Publishing, which was launched by Farnsworth. Vinco owns Lomotif, which it positions as a competitor to TikTok.
The sale to Farnsworth follows accusations that he and others misled investors about MoviePass, a once-popular movie ticketing service. According to CNBC, a spokeswoman for Farnsworth stated that his attorneys would defend the charges.
In 2018, the National Enquirer was accused of adopting “catch-and-kill” techniques, in which it purportedly paid for stories on Donald Trump but never published them. The move was intended to assist Trump in winning the president.
Federal prosecutors opted not to charge American Media, the parent company of the National Enquirer, for the $150,000 hush-money payment made to Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump. The business then withheld McDougal’s story until after the election had concluded.
In 2019, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, accused a tabloid of attempting to bribe him with embarrassing nudes sent to his girlfriend.
American Media sold the National Enquirer and other magazines to James Cohen, the former CEO of airport newsstand company Hudson News, in April 2019, but the transaction was never finalized.
American Media CEO David Pecker resigned in August 2020, and the company was acquired by Smyrna, Georgia-based logistics company a360.
Former AMI CEO David Pecker was seen entering a Manhattan courthouse where a grand jury was deliberating whether or not to indict Donald Trump for an alleged hush-money plot.
The plan to sell the Enquirer comes a week after Pecker and his attorney were observed entering a Manhattan courthouse where a grand jury was deliberating whether to indict Trump for an alleged plot to pay Stormy Daniels hush money prior to the 2016 presidential election.
»National Enquirer acquired for $100 million to indicted former MoviePass CEO: report«