The National Enquirer, the publication known for its scandals, is about to have new owners. VVIP Ventures, a joint venture between Vinco Ventures, a digital media and content technologies holding company, and ICON Publishing, is acquiring the Enquirer from a360 Media in an all-cash deal worth nearly $100 million. The acquisition includes all print and digital assets of the National Enquirer, National Examiner, and Globe, both U.S. and U.K. editions.
The new owners have pledged to expand the Enquirer’s digital presence, pursue TV, film, and podcast licensing partnerships, and create new productions using the publication’s extensive archive. They also bring digital assets such as Vinco’s AdRizer platform, which runs programmatic ad transactions and direct agreements with advertisers, and Lomotif, an alternative to TikTok.
On the other hand, a360 Media plans to focus on women’s lifestyle and celebrity and entertainment brands and accelerate their operational resources and services to support the acquired brands.
The National Enquirer has had a controversial history, having been involved in “catch and kill” practices during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and attempting to bribe Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019. American Media Inc., the parent company of the publication, admitted to these practices in 2018 and was fined $187,500 by the Federal Election Commission in 2021.
David Pecker, the former CEO of American Media, stepped down in August 2020, and American Media was taken over by Accelerate360. In April 2019, American Media was set to sell the National Enquirer and some other publications to James Cohen, but the transaction was never completed.
VVIP Ventures is poised to bring new life to the National Enquirer, National Examiner, and Globe, but their journey will be closely watched given the scandals and controversies associated with these publications. Nevertheless, with the backing of Vinco Ventures’ digital platforms and ICON Publishing’s experience, the future of these iconic tabloids is uncertain, but promising.