VVIP Ventures, a partnership between digital media company Vinco Ventures and ICON publishing, founded by Theodore Farnsworth, has agreed to buy the National Enquirer and its sister publications. Photo courtesy of ZASH Global Media
Feb. 6 (UPI) -- VVIP Ventures will purchase the infamous tabloid publication the National Enquirer and its sister publications, the company announced Monday.
VVIP Ventures will make the purchase as it attempts to expand its presence in the world of celebrity news. The company is a partnership between digital media company Vinco Ventures and ICON publishing, founded by former MoviePass CEO Theodore Farnsworth.
In a press release announcing the purchase, VVIP said the move is the first step toward its goal of becoming "one of the largest global content publishers in the celebrity arena." It plans to continue publishing celebrity news with the National Enquirer's U.S. and U.K. publications as well as the Globe and National Examiner, which are all owned by A360media.
"Vinco's digital platforms and capabilities are well positioned to maximize revenues from these iconic and already profitable media brands," said Rod Vanderbilt, VVIP executive chairman.
"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 editorial teams behind these publications will remain on staff, according to the press release.
The National Enquirer has faced many controversies in its nearly 97-year history. None bigger than when its then-parent company American Media Inc. admitted to purchasing stories that cast a poor light on Donald Trump, only to prevent the stories from ever being published. The tactic, referred to as "catch and kill," was used to silence women from making public allegations of sexual affairs with Trump ahead of his campaign for president in 2016.
Vinco Ventures founder Theodore Farnsworth is no stranger to controversy. In November, Farnsworth was charged with conspiring to defraud investors in MoviePass in a scheme to attract new investors, the Justice Department said. He and his co-conspirator J. Mitchell Lowe face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count against them.
Farnsworth became CEO of Vinco Ventures last July. He told The New York Times that the purchase agreement for the National Enquirer and other publications was about $100 million.
As part of the purchase agreement, VVIP Ventures has the exclusive right to discuss further partnerships with A360media for a 90 day period.