The National Enquirer, along with fellow tabloid magazine Globe, has been sold.
VVIP Ventures LLC, a joint venture between Vinco Ventures Inc. BBIG
and Icon Publishing LLC, agreed Monday to purchase the National Enquirer U.S. and U.K. editions, the National Examiner and Globe from its now-previous owner a360 Media LLC.
The agreement is an all-cash deal, and the terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Icon Publishing was founded by former Helios and Matheson Analytics
CEO Ted Farnsworth. Helios and Matheson was the parent company of movie-ticket subscription platform MoviePass, which has recently relaunched under new management. Along with former MoviePass executive J. Mitchell Lowe, Farnsworth was charged with securities fraud by allegedly inflating the number of MoviePass subscribers to investors.
The National Enquirer buried potentially embarrassing stories about former President Donald Trump and other favored celebrities over the years by buying the rights to them and never publishing them, a dubious practice was known as “catch-and-kill.”
A360 Media agreed to pay a $187,500 fine as part of a settlement with the Federal Election Commission over a 2016 story regarding Karen McDougal, who claimed she had an affair with Trump.
As part of the settlement, American Media, the predecessor of a360 Media, admitted to federal prosecutors it paid McDougal “in cooperation, consultation and concert with” one or more members of Trump’s 2016 White House campaign, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
From 2020: Prosecutors’ evidence indicates brother of Bezos’ girlfriend leaked texts to National Enquirer
Vinco stock has fallen 62.81% in the past 12 months, while the S&P 500
has fallen 8.31%.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.