Business

Fox Acquires TMZ from AT&T’s WarnerMedia


TL;DR (3-minute read)

  • Fox Corporation has bought TMZ from WarnerMedia for a little under $50 million.
  • TMZ is an online newspaper that is known for its tabloid-style, sensationalistic articles. It’s also popular, landing some of the biggest scoops in celebrity gossip.
  • Fox Entertainment is an American television broadcast company that is owned by Fox Corporation that offers television programs and cable network programs.
  • The move to Fox Corporation started with TMZ’s Managing Editor Harvey Levin claiming that he would not continue with the company if it stayed under WarnerMedia.
  • This purchase could be a monumental step in the right direction and could open up multiple opportunities for TMZ as the two companies already have connections since Fox is its primary broadcast partner.

Fox Corporation announced on Monday that they are buying TMZ from WarnerMedia. The exact terms of this agreement weren’t disclosed but it is estimated that the deal was a little under $50 million. TMZ is an online newspaper that is known for its shorter-length, tabloid-style articles. Tabloid journalism is a popular style of largely sensationalistic journalism that is typically half the size of a normal newspaper. It has landed some of the entertainment industry’s biggest scoops in celebrity gossip such as the deaths of Michael Jackson and former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant. It’s also one of the most-cited entertainment news sources and utilized by national networks and local news gathering organizations across the country. Fox Entertainment is an American television broadcast company that is owned by Fox Corporation that offers television programs, television broadcasting, and cable network programs. Fox Corporation includes popular brands such as Fox Sports, Fox News, Fox Business, and the Fox Broadcasting Company.

Harvey Levin, founder & managing editor of TMZ, will continue operations, now under the Fox News umbrella. Getty Images

The sale comes after sources claim that Managing Editor Harvey Levin, who co-founded TMZ back in 2005, had told WarnerMedia that he would not continue with the company if it stayed under WarnerMedia. Also, WarnerMedia owns brands like CNN and Warner Brothers so there was a conflict between TMZ’s style of journalism and the subjects covered with regard to CNN and Warner Brothers. Furthermore, Fox was founded by Rupert Murdoch who was someone who pioneered tabloid gossip journalism in the United States and the UK. Since TMZ specializes in celebrity gossip journalism, it makes sense that buying TMZ would be the next best step forward for the company.

With the help of Fox Entertainment, this deal could be a huge leap in the right direction for TMZ. “Whether via broadcast or digital, TMZ has brought its brand-defining energy and sense of urgency to fans across the planet. We see great potential in building upon this franchise by adding new creative ventures with Harvey and everyone at TMZ,” says Fox Entertainment head Charlie Collier. Levin also added, “Fox Entertainment is opening up a world of opportunities for TMZ to grow our current platforms and expand in every which way.”

Fox was already connected to TMZ since the network is the primary broadcast partner for TMZ. TMZ also produced specials for Fox Entertainment such as UFOs: The Pentagon Proof and Harry & Meghan: The Royals in Crisis. Fox will now own and operate all of TMZ’s digital and linear assets including magazine programs TMZ and TMZ Live, the brand’s website, and their LA-based tour bus business. “The unique and powerful brand Harvey has created in TMZ has forever changed the entertainment industry, and we’re excited to welcome them to FOX,” said Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation, in a press release. “TMZ has been an impactful program for our Fox television stations and broadcast partners for many years.”

Sources

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