David Pecker is stepping down as CEO of the National Enquirer’s parent, ending a reign that noticed the company entangled in a campaign-finance scandal that despatched President Donald Trump’s private lawyer to jail.
Pecker’s company, American Media Inc., is being taken over by Accelerate360, a logistics agency primarily based in Smyrna, Georgia, whose current efforts embrace the supply of thousands and thousands of facemasks and items of hand sanitizer.
Accelerate didn’t disclose the phrases of the deal in its announcement Friday. But it mentioned the mixed entity could be headed by Accelerate CEO David Parry.
Chris Scardino, an 18-year veteran of American Media, was named president of A360 Media, the New York-based unit that may home American Media’s former titles, which additionally embrace Us Weekly, Life & Style and OK! Pecker will serve as an “executive advisor” to the company’s A360 Media division, Accelerate mentioned.
Under Pecker, the National Enquirer for years buried probably embarrassing tales about Trump and different favored celebrities by shopping for the rights to them and by no means publishing. The follow was recognized as “catch-and-kill.”
The Associated Press reported Pecker stored a secure within the Enquirer’s workplace that held paperwork on buried tales, together with these involving Trump.
American Media admitted it had paid $150,000 to maintain former Playboy mannequin Karen McDougal quiet about an alleged affair with Trump to assist his 2016 presidential marketing campaign. Trump has denied an affair.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan agreed in 2018 to not prosecute American Media in trade for its cooperation in a marketing campaign finance investigation. That probe ultimately led to a three-year jail time period for Trump’s former private lawyer Michael Cohen.
Cohen is finishing the final two years of a three-year jail sentence at house after pleading responsible to marketing campaign finance fees and mendacity to Congress.