Fri, Apr 12, 2019 - Page 10 News List

American Media considers sale of ‘National Enquirer’

AP, NEW YORK

The National Enquirer, which is under fire for paying hush money to a former model linked to US President Donald Trump, is on the auction block.

The parent of the supermarket tabloid on Wednesday said that it is exploring a possible sale as part of a “strategic review” of its tabloid business.

The decision by American Media Inc comes after the tabloid said it paid US$150,000 to keep Karen McDougal quiet about an alleged affair with Trump and being accused by Amazon.com Inc chief executive officer Jeff Bezos of blackmail.

American Media said that it was considering a sale so it could focus more on other parts of its business, including its brand for teenagers and broadcast platforms.

“Because of this focus, we feel the future opportunities with the tabloids can be best exploited by a different ownership,” American Media chief executive officer David Pecker said in a statement.

Pecker is a longtime Trump ally who helped bury potentially embarrassing stories about Trump over the years by paying hush money in a tabloid practice called “catch-and-kill.”

In August last year, the US attorney’s office in Manhattan agreed not to prosecute American Media in exchange for the company’s cooperation in its investigation of alleged campaign violations in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

American Media came under fire more recently from Bezos for what he said were threats to publish photographs of him unless he stopped investigating how the tabloid obtained private exchanges between him and his mistress.

Bezos accused the tabloid of blackmail in a public blog post.

American Media recently refinanced hundreds of millions of dollars of debt after years of heavy borrowing and acquisitions.

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