American Media, Inc.

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American Media, Inc.
Private
Industry Media
Founded 1936
Headquarters New York City[1]
Key people
David J. Pecker, CEO
Roger Altman
Products Newspapers
Magazines
Owner Chatham Asset Management, LLC
Omega Charitable Partnership, L.P.
Number of employees
3,160 (2006)
Website www.americanmediainc.com

American Media, Inc., is an American publisher of magazines, supermarket tabloids, and books based in New York City.

History[edit]

The modern American Media came into being after Generoso Pope, Jr., longtime owner of the National Enquirer, died in 1988, and his tabloids came under new ownership. American tabloids began consolidating in 1990, when American Media bought Star from Rupert Murdoch. The purchase of Globe Communications (owner of the Globe and the National Examiner) followed nine years later.[citation needed] Roger Altman, through Evercore Partners, bought a controlling stake in American Media in 1999.[2]

American Media is not to be confused with American Media Distribution the international news coverage firm. American Media's former corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida, figured prominently in news headlines in late 2001, after an anthrax attack was perpetrated on the company[3] and other media outlets.[4] Since then the corporate headquarters have moved to New York City at 1 Park Avenue in Manhattan, before moving to the Financial District to the former JP Morgan Chase headquarters at 4 New York Plaza. That building was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy but reopened in February 2013. The CEO, David J. Pecker, travels between the Boca Raton and New York offices while managing the company.[citation needed]

AMI continued to expand after it bought Joe Weider's Weider Publications in 2002. Joe Weider continued to manage control of his magazines under AMI's Weider Publications subsidiary until his death in March 2013.[5][6]

American Media also owns Distribution Services, an in-store magazine merchandising company. In fall 2002, it launched the book-publishing imprint, AMI Books.[7]

In 2009, American Media was taken over by its bondholders to keep it out of bankruptcy.[citation needed]

In November 2010, American Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to nearly $1 billion in debt, and assets of less than $50,000.[8] Its subsidiary, American Media Operations Inc., listed assets of $100 to $500 million and debt of over $1 billion.[9] It exited in December.

In May 2014, American Media announced a decision to shift the headquarters of the National Enquirer from Florida, where it had been located since 1971, back to New York City, where it originally began as The New York Enquirer in 1926.[10] In August 2014, American Media was acquired by Chatham Asset Management and Omega Charitable Partnership.[11]

In 2015, American Media sold Shape, Natural Health, and Fit Pregnancy to Meredith.[12]

In late 2015, AMI paid $30,000 to Dino Sajudin, a doorman at Trump Tower, to obtain the rights to his story in which he alleged Donald Trump had an affair in the 1980s that resulted in the birth of a child. Sajudin in April 2018 identified the woman as Trump’s former housekeeper.[13] AMI reporters were given the names of the woman and the alleged child, while Sajudin passed a lie detector test when testifying that he had heard the story from others. Shortly after the payment was made, Pecker ordered the reporters to drop the story.[14] In April 2018, AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard denied the story was “spiked” in a so-called “catch and kill” operation, insisting that AMI did not run the story because Sajudin‘s story lacked credibility.[15] CNN obtained a copy of the contract between AMI and Sajudin on August 24, 2018, after AMI had released Sajudin from the contract. CNN published excerpts of the contract, which instructed Sajudin to provide "information regarding Donald Trump's illegitimate child", but did not contain further specifics of Sajudin’s story.[16]

In November 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that AMI had paid Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 for exclusive rights to her allegations of a 2006-2007 affair with a married Donald Trump, but never published the story. AMI confirmed the payment, but denied that its purpose was to kill damaging stories about" Trump, but for "exclusive life rights to any relationship [McDougal] has had with a then-married man" and "two years’ worth of her fitness columns and magazine covers".[17][18] In March 2018, McDougal filed a lawsuit against AMI in the Los Angeles Superior Court, aiming to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement she had with AMI.[19][20] A month later, AMI settled with McDougal; the settlement allows her to speak about the alleged affair.[21] In August 2018, it was reported that AMI CEO/Chairman David Pecker and AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard were granted witness immunity in exchange for their testimony regarding hush money payments made by Donald Trump's then-personal lawyer, Michael Cohen in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.[22] Cohen had that month pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws through the payments (one of which at $150,000 matched the sum McDougal was paid by AMI).[23][24]

In March 2017, American Media acquired US Weekly from Wenner Media for a reported $100 million.[25] Three months later, in June 2017, American Media also acquired Men's Journal from Wenner Media.[26]

In June 2018, American Media acquired 13 brands from Bauer Media Group including In Touch Weekly, Life & Style (magazine) and Closer (magazine) to add to their celebrity portfolio. They also acquired Bauer Media's kids group including J-14 (magazine) and Girl's World.[27]

Publications[edit]

Current[edit]

Former[edit]

Divisions[edit]

  • Distribution Services, Inc.
  • AMI Books

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Accessed June 30, 2017.
  2. ^ Smith, Ben (October 11, 2007). "The Clintonite who owns National Enquirer". The Politico newspaper. Arlington County, Virginia: Politico. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  3. ^ Canedy, Dana (August 27, 2002). "Traces of Terror: The Bioterror; F.B.I to Re-enter Building Long After Anthrax Shut It". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Timeline: How the Anthrax Terror Unfolded". NPR. February 15, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Joe Weider Legendary Bodybuilding and Fitness Icon Dies at 93". MarketWatch. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ Trounson, Rebecca. "Joe Weider dies at 93; bodybuilding pioneer and publisher". latimes.com. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  7. ^ Milliot, Jim (August 4, 2003). "American Media to Expand Book Program". Publishers Weekly. United States: PWxyz LLC. 250 (31). Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  8. ^ "American Media Chapter 11 Voluntary Petition" (PDF). Pacer. San Antonio: Federal judiciary of the United States. November 17, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  9. ^ Jeffrey, Don; Milford, Phil (November 17, 2010). "'National Enquirer' Publisher Files for Chapter 11". Bloomberg Businessweek. New York City: Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  10. ^ The Associated Press (May 21, 2014). "National Enquirer leaving Florida headquarters". The Record. Woodland Park, New Jersey: North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  11. ^ Chatham Asset Management and Omega Charitable Partnership to Acquire American Media, Inc.
  12. ^ Mickey, Bill (January 28, 2015). "Meredith Buys Shape From AMI for $60 Million". foliomag.com. Washington, D.C. 
  13. ^ Moghe, Chris Isidore, Tom Kludt and Sonia. "Former doorman involved in story of alleged Trump affair speaks". Retrieved 25 August 2018. 
  14. ^ Farrow, Ronan (2018-04-12). "The National Enquirer, a Trump Rumor, and Another Secret Payment to Buy Silence". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  15. ^ "$30,000 rumor? Tabloid paid for, spiked, salacious Trump tip". Retrieved 25 August 2018. 
  16. ^ CNN, Sonia Moghe,. "Ex-Trump World Tower doorman releases 'catch-and-kill' contract about alleged Trump affair". Retrieved 25 August 2018. 
  17. ^ Palazzolo, Joe; Rothfeld, Michael; Alpert, Lukas (November 4, 2016). "National Enquirer Shielded Donald Trump From Playboy Model's Affair Allegation". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 17, 2018. 
  18. ^ Weprin, Alex (November 4, 2016). "Report: National Enquirer bought rights to Trump affair story, but never published". Politico. 
  19. ^ "Karen McDougal v. American Media, Inc" (PDF). 
  20. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (2018-03-20). "Former Playboy Model Karen McDougal Sues to Break Silence on Trump". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  21. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (2018-04-18). "Ex-Playboy Model, Freed From Contract, Can Discuss Alleged Trump Affair". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-19. 
  22. ^ Sherman, Gabriel. ""Holy shit, I thought Pecker would be the last one to turn": Trump's National Enquirer allies are the latest to defect". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 25 August 2018. 
  23. ^ "Michael Cohen trial: Trump accused of directing hush money". BBC News. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  24. ^ "Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty, implicates president". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 22 August 2018. 
  25. ^ Ember, Sydney (March 15, 2017). "Us Weekly Is Sold to National Enquirer Publisher". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  26. ^ "American Media Buys Wenner's 'Men's Journal' To Attract Premium Advertisers". www.mediapost.com. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  27. ^ "American Media, Inc. Acquires Celebrity And Kids Group Titles From Bauer Media USA". CBS8. 2018-06-15. Retrieved 2018-06-25. 

External links[edit]