National Enquirer Owner Merging With Wholesaler, David Pecker to Step Aside

David Pecker - Getty - H 2018
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As part of the merger, American Media CEO David Pecker will step aside, shifting to a role as an executive adviser to the newly-renamed company, A360 Media. Chris Scardino, an 18-year veteran of American Media, will become A360 Media's president.

American Media Inc., the parent company of tabloid The National Enquirer and celebrity magazine US Weekly, will merge with a wholesale distribution and logistics company called Accelerate360.

As part of the merger, American Media CEO David Pecker will step aside, shifting to a role as an executive adviser to the newly-renamed company, A360 Media. Chris Scardino, an 18-year veteran of American Media, will become A360 Media's president.

Accelerate is in the logistics, marketing, merchandising and sales business, and in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic has increased its sales and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as KN95 masks, surgical masks, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.

The company is also a distributor of periodicals, delivering magazines to some 55,000 retail locations each week.

In a statement, Accelerate CEO David Parry said that the deal is a "transformative event that significantly reshapes Accelerate and American Media into a new type of media and marketing company with an unprecedented reach all the way to the sales floor."

The company says that "synergies" between the companies are already underway "to build awareness and drive revenue of both LifeToGo products and other Accelerate supplier partners."

American Media Inc. had been owned by investment firm Chatham Asset Management since 2014. Chatham is expected to close a deal to acquire the McClatchy newspaper group in the coming weeks.

The National Enquirer has been in the spotlight ever since Donald Trump took office. The magazine paid former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal for the rights to her story about an alleged affair with Trump, secretly in concert with Trump's attorney Michael Cohen. The magazine was also involved in an effort to allegedly extort Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and reportedly helped Harvey Weinstein smear some of his accusers.

Dylan Howard, the magazine's former editor, has in recent months tried to remake himself as a player in Hollywood, developing projects in the true-crime genre.