Last week, American Media, Inc. confirmed that the rumors are true – supermarket tabloid National Enquirer is up for a sale, including its U.S. and U.K. editions, along with AMIs Globe and National Examiner brands. Is this a bargain or a bad idea? According to an April 10 news release, AMIs board has done a strategic operational review and decided it is exploring strategic options to tell the tabloids. AMI also owns Us Weekly, Mens Journal, OK!, In Touch, Muscle & Fitness and other media assets, and it has been growing its experiential marketing and events division and will focus on those businesses instead.
In February, AMI acquired the Adventure Sports Network and its 14 adventure and sports brands from TEN: Publishing, including Bike, Powder, Surfer, Canoe & Kayak and Snowboarder, reports Forbes. This acquisition makes AMI the sixth largest sports media brand in the world, reaching more than 60 million video views per month.
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We have been keenly focused on leveraging the popularity of our celebrity glossy, teen and active lifestyle brands while developing new and robust platforms including broadcast and audio programming, and a live events business, that now deliver significant revenue streams, said AMI President and CEO David J. Pecker. Because of this focus, we feel the future opportunities with the tabloids can be best exploited by a different ownership.
The 92-year-old weekly tabloid has print circulation of 5.3 million with a median subscriber age of 50.7 and median household income of $59,919. According to Google Analytics and comScore, NationalEnquirer.com has 587,000 monthly unique visitors and 5.7 million monthly page views. The median age visiting the website is 56.3 with median household income of $114,345 and 69,000 social media followers. It is available via print or digital subscription. A one-year subscription, print or digital, is $2.49 per issue, or $129.48. A six-month subscription is also available at a slightly higher price – $3.07 per issue, or $79.82.
The National Enquirers mission statement is something many of us are familiar with – Enquiring Minds Want to Know! On its website, the Enquirer boasts insatiable headlines, international scandals, exclusive breaking news and unforgettable stories. Most recently, the Enquirer made headlines of its own when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accused the tabloid of extortion and blackmail to stop the Enquirers release of photos of him with his mistress. Federal prosecutors are investigating Bezos claims, reports The New York Times.
The Washington Post speculated other reasons for a possible sale including political motivations, avoiding legal troubles for possible violations of a non-prosecution agreement with federal investigators and financial challenges with declining circulation.
Given the circumstances – falling circulation, legal difficulties, internal scandals and ties to President Trump – it will be interesting to see what type of buyers the supermarket tabloid and its related brands would attract. It seems a new owner would be buying trouble, unless it could structure an acquisition that would leave liability for past actions squarely on the current owners. Despite its 92 years in business, the National Enquirer has a reputation as being a scandalous publication full of sensational, and mostly false, stories. It doesnt sound like a bargain at any price.