The National Enquirer, the publication that for decades has dripped scandal, is about to have new owners.
VVIP Ventures, LLC, a joint venture between Vinco Ventures, Inc. a digital media and content technologies holding company, and ICON Publishing, LLC is purchasing the Enquirer from a360 Media, LLC, in an all-cash deal. Terms were not disclosed, but reports put the price at almost $100 million.
The acquisition includes all print and digital assets and owned intellectual property of the National Enquirer, including both the U.S. and U.K. editions, National Examiner and Globe.
The new owners pledge to expand the Enquirer’s digital footprint and aggressively pursue TV, film and podcast licensing partnerships, they also seek to create new productions, taking advantage of the National Enquirer's archive.
"Vinco's digital platforms and capabilities are well positioned to maximize revenues from these iconic and already profitable media brand,” states Rod Vanderbilt, executive chairman of the board.
Vanderbilt continues, “Our digital ecosystem will be critical in heightening the reputation and recognizability of the National Enquirer, National Examiner and Globe to a broader audience and the editorial team joining us from these publications will play an important role in these efforts.
The joint venture will also enter into a multi-year service agreement with a360 Media.
For its part, a360 Media plans to “continue to sharpen our focus on a360 Media's women's lifestyle and celebrity and entertainment brands, bolstered by the recent acquisitions of Bauer's US publishing business and Centennial Media,” states Doug Olson, president of a360Media.
Olson continues that the firm hopes to accelerate360's vast operational resources and services to provide publishing and distribution support for the acquired brands."
The new owners bring other digital assets to the table.
Vinco's AdRizer platform runs both real-time programmatic ad transactions and direct agreements with agencies and advertisers in its own proprietary platform. It serves such firms Google, Taboola, and Outbrain,.
Also part of Vinco's ecosystem is Lomotif, seen as a Tik Tok alternative, and Magnifi U, an immersive, online education platform.
The New York Times writes Icon Publishing, was founded by Ted Farnsworth, the former chairman of the MoviePass, who was indicted on federal charges of defrauding investors.
The Times also recounts that the Enquirer engaged in "catch and kill," buying the rights to stories alleging sexual behavior by Donald Trump, then killing the stories.