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National Enquirer up for sale

Image: David Pecker, Chairman and CEO of American Media speaks at the Shape
David Pecker, Chairman and CEO of American Media speaks at the Shape and Men's Fitness Super Bowl Party in New York on January 31, 2014.   -   Copyright  Marion Curtis Reuters file
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American Media Inc. said Wednesday that the National Enquirer is up for sale.

The company, run by chief executive David Pecker, a friend of President Donald Trump, said in a statement that it had decided to change direction and the tabloid title no longer fit with its portfolio of assets.

News that the National Enquirer is up for sale was first reported by The Washington Post.

American Media, or AMI, did not say whether it was in talks with a possible buyer, but a sale would come just months after the supermarket tabloid revealed on its front page that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was having an affair. Bezos later accused the National Enquirer of extortion and blackmail for threatening to publish embarrassing photos of him and his girlfriend.

The magazine publisher said it also would sell two other tabloids: Globe and National Examiner.

"We feel the future opportunities with the tabloids can be best exploited by a different ownership," Pecker said in a statement, explaining that the company was developing a broadcast, audio and events business instead.

The National Enquirer's potential sale comes after AMI's board said it would investigate thorny negotiations between the tabloid and Bezos' legal team. The contentious conversations were shared by Bezos in a poston the website Medium titled, "No Thank You, Mr. Pecker."

Bezos described how he wouldn't be shamed after learning the magazine possessed compromising photographs. He alluded to the possible involvement of foreign governments in the incident.

The National Enquirer was also found to have engaged in "catch and kill" arrangements with women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump that included payments of hush money.

American Media also owns US Weekly, Star, OK! In Touch and Life & Style.