AMI puts "National Enquirer" up for sale

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The tabloid allegedly paid a former Playboy model Karen McDougal for exclusive rights to her claims that she had had an extramarital affair with Trump and then never published a story - a practice known as "catch and kill".

The National Enquirer, a touchstone of American tabloids, is up for sale, the publisher said on Thursday.

'Because of this focus, we feel the future opportunities with the tabloids can be best exploited by a different ownership.

American Media came under fire this year from Amazon founder Bezos for what he said were threats to publish explicit photos of him following a January story on him that included lurid texts exchanged with his mistress, former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.

"The Trump thing was an issue, and [Anthony Melchiorre] was really disgusted by the Bezos reporting", a source told the Post.

American Media Inc. announced in a statement that it made a decision to sell the National Enquirer, alongside its other tabloids, including the Globe and National Examiner brands.

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AMI was granted immunity from the U.S. Attorney's Office by the Southern District of NY last December as part of a probe into President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and longtime fixer, Michael Cohen.

Eventually, prosecutors signed a non-prosecution agreement with AMI during the Cohen probe and the company committed that it would provide cooperation in the future and stay out of trouble.

After the sale, Pecker will continue to help manage The Enquirer through American Media Inc., which will remain under his leadership, the people said. The National Enquirer, the supermarket tabloid that ran a report on the personal life of Bezos is now looking for a buyer, according to parent AMI. A representative from Chatham declined to comment, and Melchiorre did not respond to a call seeking comment.

It's not clear whether federal prosecutors have independent evidence to corroborate the claim that the Saudis hacked Bezos's phone or had any connection to the National Enquirer's story on his affair.

American Media has been expanding in the last two years, buying Us Weekly, Men's Journal, Bauer's US celebrity and teen line, and TEN: Publishing's Adventure Sports Network (ASN).

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