David Pecker, who led National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc. since 1999, is out after the company merged with “logistics firm” Accelerate 360.
American Media, which also publishes Us Weekly, Life & Style and OK!, will be renamed A360Media and become part of a company that distributes products including face masks and hand sanitizer under the Life2Go brand.
“This is a transformative event that significantly reshapes Accelerate and American Media into a new type of media and marketing company with an unprecedented reach all the way to the sales floor,” said Accelerate CEO David Parry in the company’s announcement.
Parry announced that Chris Scardino, an 18-year veteran of American Media, would become president of A360 while Pecker will become executive advisor at A360 Media.
The National Enquirer had transformed under Pecker from its traditional celebrity-oriented coverage to stories boosting Donald Trump and attacking Hillary Clinton. Most AMI employees were forced to take a 23% pay cut at the beginning of the pandemic.
Pecker and then-National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard were implicated in burying stories that would hurt Trump’s candidacy. A federal probe found Trump had directed his lawyer Michael Cohen to make payments to women who alleged affairs with Trump, using the “catch and kill” method to silence the women and keep their stories out of the press. Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion and federal campaign-finance violations, while Trump denied knowledge of the practice.
In addition to the PPE equipment and various distribution businesses, Accelerate claims to be the largest periodical distributor in North America. The company’s statement said that “synergies among the companies have already begun” by using A360’s magazines to build awareness of LifeTogo products.
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