(Reuters) – American Media Inc (AMI) is selling its tabloid the National Enquirer for $100 million to James Cohen, chief executive of Hudson News , the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the agreement.
U.S. tabloid newspaper the National Enquirer display rack is seen in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
The National Enquirer had admitted to paying hush money to help U.S. President Donald Trump get elected and been accused of attempting to blackmail Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The weekly tabloid along with two sister publications will be purchased by the head of Hudson News known for its airport newsstands, the report said.
This comes a week after AMI had said it was looking at “strategic options” for the National Enquirer, as well as for the Globe and the National Examiner brands.
The sale is expected to reduce AMI’s debt to $355 million, the Washington Post report said.
Last week, the New York Times reported that owners of the National Enquirer were in talks to sell the tabloid to the California billionaire Ronald Burkle.
According to media reports, Paul Pope, one of the heirs of the National Enquirer founder Generoso Pope Jr, had also been in the list of bidders.
On Tuesday, Pope, according to the New York Post, dropped his bid to buy the supermarket tabloid from American Media.
Over its 92-year history, the National Enquirer has enticed readers in supermarket checkout lines with sensational headlines and photos about celebrities. The tabloid’s website claims it reaches an audience of 5 million.
Earlier in February, Amazon.com Inc CEO Bezos accused the publication of trying to blackmail him with the threat of publishing intimate photos.
The National Enquirer and Hudson News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel