Does the National Enquirer have a future? While American Media Inc. was looking for a buyer for the supermarket's distressed tabloid, media experts have offered widely differing assessments as to whether the commodity for the supermarket would finally be able to overcome its legal problems, financial and public relations – and even if a buyer emerged all.
"I would rather pay money to someone to take me away, to save me from all the legal problems," said Samir Husni, director of the Innovation Center Magazine at the School of Journalism's University of Mississippi, TheWrap. "I can list 100 reasons why nobody should buy the National Enquirer, but I can not think of a reason why should buy the National Enquirer. "
Peter Kreisky, a former media analyst, predicted that the tabloid would probably not survive another five years. "It's the beginning of the ultimate decline, unless someone pulls a rabbit out of a hat," he said. "Credibility is badly damaged."
But Reed Phillips, a managing partner at Oaklins DeSilva & Phillips, said the title could go up to nine digits.
"I have heard numbers circulating, in the order of one hundred million dollars. I think it might be worth it, "Phillips told TheWrap – although he repeatedly pointed out that he could not offer an accurate assessment without access to the title books. AMI being a private company, its finances are not public.
Paul Pope, the son of Enquirer's founder, Generoso Pope Jr., told TheWrap on Friday that he would be "seriously interested" in regaining control of Enquirer. "It would be nice to find its roots and its origins," he said.
And according to the New York Post, other interested parties might include the general manager of Hudson News, James Cohen or even Bezos himself. (The representatives of Cohen and Bezos did not immediately respond to requests for comment.) On Thursday, a spokesman for billionaire L.A., Ron Burkle, shot down a New York Times report that he was watching the tabloid.
A representative of the investigator refused to comment on this story.
On Wednesday, AMI CEO David Pecker announced he was trying to get rid of the cash-starped tabloid under pressure from his main investor, Anthony Melchiorre, and the Chatham Asset Management hedge fund. Not only have the newspaper's average weekly sales dropped by nearly 60% since 2014, but the Washington Post reported that Melchiorre was personally "disgusted" by tabloid tactics.
In addition to financial problems, Enquirer faces an avalanche of potential litigation over the company's role in facilitating hidden cash payments to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who said she had an extramarital affair with Trump from 2006 to 2007 (the president denied the accusation).
Federal prosecutors are questioning the opportunity to revoke the immunity accord granted to AMI CEO David Pecker after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos , accused Enquirer of trying to extort from him salacious pictures and text messages sent to his lover Lauren Sanchez, according to a February report in the Wall Street Journal. ("The US media fervently believes that they have acted legally in reporting on the story of Mr. Bezos," said the newspaper's representative at the time, promising to "promptly conduct a thorough investigation into Bezos's accusations. .)
All of these issues could lead to an existential threat to the investigator as an active business, media analysts said. "[Bezos] could end his activities, no question about it, "said Peter Kreisky. "I'm not sure how much their insurance would defend it. The insurance will probably not cover the type of damage that Bezos could extract. "
Phillips is confident that AMI will find a buyer, although he warned that the ultimate selling price would depend on how the company handled the tabloid's legal problems.
"You can buy it in one of two ways: one would inherit legal problems and the other would not inherit it. You will pay a lot less if you have to inherit it, "said Phillips, noting that American Media would likely prefer to sell Enquirer as a" stock transaction ", thereby transferring all potential commitments to the buyer.
"There will be buyers who will be reluctant to do so, so they might be forced to sell the business as part of an asset deal where the buyer will not have to assume all the these responsibilities, "he said. "There is a price at which someone will always buy something. So I think so, it's going to be sold.
"I'm optimistic. The publication can continue if it goes from print to digital and there is still time to do it, "he added.
Others, however, were less optimistic about the viability of Enquirer. "Publications are like humans," said Husni, nicknamed informally "Mr. Magazine "from its decades of analysis of the media sector. "Everything has a life cycle. Admit that you have reached the end of your life cycle and let him die in peace. "