David J. Pecker
|David J. Pecker|
|Alma mater||Pace University|
David J. Pecker (born c. 1953) is the Chairman and CEO of American Media. He is the publisher of National Enquirer, Star, Sun, Weekly World News, Globe, Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Fit Pregnancy and Shape.
Pecker began his career as an accountant and, at CBS Magazines, rose to vice president and controller. As the junior of four employees in a partnership, CBS Magazines was acquired in a leveraged buyout and sold to Hachette. He soon after became CEO at Hachette when the other three partners resigned.
Pecker is the chairman and chief executive officer of American Media, Inc. He is the publisher of National Enquirer, Star, Sun, Weekly World News, Globe, Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Fit Pregnancy and Shape. He has served in his current role at AMI since 1999 and previously served as Chairman and CEO of Hachette Filipacchi Médias.
Pecker serves on the board of directors of the Federal Drug Agents Foundation, where he is president emeritus.
Involvement with Donald Trump
The April 2018 the New York Times reported that Pecker and AMI were under investigation for using so-called "catch and kill" payments in which AMI purchased the exclusive rights to stories that might have been damaging to Trump's 2016 campaign for President but then failed to publish them. Such a tactic might have represented illegal and/or undeclared "in-kind" campaign donations under Federal Election Commission rules.
In March 2018, Karen McDougal filed a lawsuit against American Media in Los Angeles Superior Court, aiming to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement preventing her from speaking about an alleged affair with Donald Trump. Pecker had allegedly directed American Media to purchase the exclusive rights to the story for $150,000 so as to keep it from the public. In April 2018 FBI agents searched the office and residences of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, in part to search for evidence of Trump's involvement in the payment. On July 20, 2018, a tape became public which confirmed this payment; the tape was secretly recorded by Michael Cohen during a conversation with then candidate Trump in 2016.
In April 2018 the New Yorker reported that AMI had paid $30,000 to a doorman at Trump Tower to obtain the rights to his story in which he alleged that Donald Trump had an affair in the 1980s that resulted in the birth of a child. The New Yorker was unable to confirm the existence of the affair, although it confirmed that AMI had researched the story thoroughly and had been given the names of the woman and the alleged child.
- "Company Overview of American Media, Inc.: David J. Pecker". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
- Rutenberg, Jim; Steel, Emily; McIntire, Mike (2018-04-11). "Investigators Focus on Another Trump Ally: The National Enquirer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- "American Media, Inc. Executive Team". American Media, Inc. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
- "Board of Drectors". Federal Drug Agents Foundaton. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
- Shear, Michael D.; Apuzzo, Matt; Schmidt, Michael S.; LaFraniere, Sharon; Haberman, Maggie (2018-04-10). "Raid on Trump's Lawyer Sought Records of Payments to Women". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
- "Michael Cohen Secretly Taped Trump Discussing Payment to Playboy Model". Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- 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.