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Tabloids The National Enquirer, the Globe and the National Examiner are set to get new owners.
VVIP Ventures, a joint venture between digital media and content technologies holding company Vinco Ventures and Icon Publishing, has struck an asset purchase agreement with magazine publisher A360 Media, formerly known as American Media, to acquire the brands in cash. Financial details weren’t disclosed.
“The transaction includes the acquisition of all print and digital assets and owned intellectual property of the National Enquirer (both U.S. and U.K. editions), National Examiner and Globe,” the companies said Monday. “The editorial teams of A360 Media responsible for these publications will also join the joint venture.”
The deal gives VVIP Ventures the exclusive right for a 90-day period to discuss additional business collaborations with A360 Media. The joint venture will also enter a multiyear service agreement for publishing, financial and distribution services with A360.
The current owner started exploring a sale of the tabloids in 2019, about two months after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos first accused The National Enquirer of attempting to extort him. The Enquirer also faced criticism after reports that it paid $150,000 in hush money during the 2016 presidential campaign to a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, for the rights to her story of an affair with Donald Trump, but then never published a story.
The buyers focused their attention Monday on future business opportunities.
“The acquisition brings more than 96 years of prized content into the Vinco multimedia ecosystem, creating new opportunities for wide-scale exploitation through the company’s digital, film, TV, digital and social divisions,” the one partner in VVIP Ventures said. “Vinco intends to aggressively pursue TV, film and podcast licensing partnerships, as well as creating new productions, leveraging the National Enquirer’s legendary archive, in-depth investigative journalism and breaking news.”
Added Rod Vanderbilt, executive chairman of the board of Vinco and a former MoviePass executive: “Vinco’s digital platforms and capabilities are well positioned to maximize revenues from these iconic and already profitable media brands. Our digital ecosystem will be critical in heightening the reputation and recognizability of the National Enquirer, National Examiner and Globe to a broader audience and the editorial team joining us from these publications will play an important role in these efforts. We look forward to integrating these publications into our business and continuing their legacy of success.”
A360 President Doug Olson said their sale provides “an opportunity for these brands to find further growth and opportunity as we continue to sharpen our focus on A360 Media’s women’s lifestyle and celebrity and entertainment brands, bolstered by the recent acquisitions of Bauer’s U.S. publishing business and Centennial Media.”
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