National Enquirer for sale as tabloid feels heat from its own scandals

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The New York City-based publishing company said in a statement its board had concluded a months-long review of its tabloid business, leading to the decision "to explore strategic options" for the US and United Kingdom editions of its National Enquirer, as well as its Globe and National Examiner publications.

In addition, the National Enquirer's reporting practices have come under scrutiny in the past year amid media reports that the tabloid engaged in a practice called "catch and kill" to protect US President Donald Trump, in which it would pay for potentially damaging stories to prevent them from being published. The decision by American Media comes after the tabloid said it paid $150,000 to keep Karen McDougal quiet about an alleged affair with Trump and being accused by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos of blackmail. "Because of this focus, we feel the future opportunities with the tabloids can be best exploited by a different ownership", Pecker said. The Associated Press reported past year that Pecker kept a safe that held documents on hush money payments and killed stories, including records on ones involving Trump. That probe eventually led to a three-year prison term for Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen for campaign violations among other charges. Bezos took to social media to accuse the National Enquirer of blackmailing him.

The National Enquirer, the flagship of David Pecker's American Media Inc., is on the brink of being sold in the wake of multiple scandals tied to its role in the 2016 presidential election. American Media also manages nineteen different digital sites.

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An AMI spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

American Media owns news, celebrity and sports publications such as Us Weekly, Star, OK!, In Touch, Life & Style, Men's Journal, Muscle & Fitness, Snowboarder and Surfer.