Fox Entertainment announced Monday that it has acquired TMZ, the tabloid site run by Harvey Levin, TMZ, run by Harvey Levin.
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Levin, an attorney and former legal TV reporter for TMZ who founded the brand in 2005 with the late Warner Bros. TV executive Jim Paratore, will continue as TMZ’s editor-in-chief under new ownership. He will report to Rob Wade, President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials at Fox Entertainment.
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No price was disclosed for TMZ’s portfolio, which includes the company’s eponymous daily syndication show and its spinoff, “TMZ Live.” The shows will now be part of Fox First Run, a syndication division of Fox Television Stations.
The acquisition of TMZ would strengthen Fox Corp.’s strategy to focus on shows that are live or watched on traditional television as viewers increasingly turn to streaming for scripted sitcoms, dramas and movies. Fox Corp.’s assets include Fox News, the most-watched cable TV channel in the United States.
“TMZ” and “TMZ Live” have aired on 18 Fox-owned stations. “TMZ Sports” airs on Fox Sports cable network FS1. The company’s digital properties include TMZ.com and celebrity and cultural website TooFab.com.
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TMZ stands for 30-Mile Zone, a geographic area of Los Angeles used by unionized film projects to determine working conditions, per diems and driving distances for crew members.
Levin’s TMZ is known for its aggressive pursuit of celebrity news, and its off-the-cuff interviews as stars leave restaurants or airport terminals have become a familiar sight in the media world.
TMZ breaks down stories like Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant in 2006, Alec Baldwin’s angry and abusive voicemail to his 11-year-old daughter in 2007, and Christian Christian Bale on the set of “Terminator Salvation.”
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TMZ also reached out to the emergency services community in Los Angeles, helping the agency become the first to report a major celebrity death. Its scoops included the deaths of pop legend Michael Jackson and retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.
“The unique and powerful brand Harvey created at TMZ changed the entertainment industry forever, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to Fox,” said Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation.
In a statement, Levin said that operating under Fox Entertainment “opens up a world of opportunities for TMZ to grow our existing platforms and expand in a variety of ways!”
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TMZ has produced several specials for Fox, including “Harry and Meghan: Royals in Crisis,” “Tiger King: Why It Really Went Down” and “UFOs: Evidence from the Pentagon.”
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Stephen Battaglio writes about the business of television and media for the Los Angeles Times out of New York. His coverage of the television industry has appeared in TV Guide, The New York Daily News, The New York Times, Fortune, The Hollywood Reporter, Inside.com and Adweek. He is also the author of three books on television, including a biography of pioneer talk show host and producer David Susskind. Fox has acquired the TMZ brand from WarnerMedia for an undisclosed sum, strengthening the Murdoch family’s position in the celebrity gossip business.
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Along with its celebrity travel business in Los Angeles. Media reports put the deal at less than $50 million.
In 2019 after two seasons. TMZ is now the go-to site for mainstream media outlets publishing porn celebrity news.
“[Both] were launched as crusades against the status quo of cable news and gossip news, backed by major mainstream media companies but employing perspectives not found in existing products,” the trade publication said.
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Note that Levine has told WarnerMedia executives that he intends to leave the company. TMZ’s public face, Levin, praised the deal in a press release, saying it will help TMZ grow its business.
“The unique and powerful brand that Harvey created at TMZ changed the entertainment industry forever, and we are thrilled to welcome them to FOX,” said Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation.
, in the press release. “TMZ has been a powerful program for our Fox network and broadcast partners for many years.”
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Charlie Collier, head of Fox Entertainment, added: “Whether it’s on broadcast or digital, TMZ brings a brand-defining energy and urgency to fans around the world. Come build out the great potential of this franchise.
For his part, Levin added that TMZ “can’t charge anymore,” adding that “Fox Entertainment is opening up a world of opportunity for TMZ to grow our current platform and expand in a variety of ways.”
Fox has been on an acquisition spree lately as it tries to reduce its reliance on Fox News, which generates 95% of its pretax profits.
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The company acquired Clay Travis’ Outkick Media, the parent company of its eponymous sports news site, in May. It also invested in blockchain media startup Eluvio, which will provide the underlying technology for Fox’s Blockchain Ideas Lab. Fox’s investment completes Eluvio’s Series A round at a $100 million valuation.
Is exiting the entertainment business, which it entered with the $108 billion acquisition of AOL Time Warner less than three years ago, to focus on telecommunications.
Inc. becomes an independent company that combines blue-chip media brands including HBO, CNN and Warner Bros. with Discovery’s cable business. AT&T also divested its DirecTV and Uverse businesses, its Crunchyroll anime streaming unit for $1.2 billion, and operations in Europe and Latin America. It also sold its 42% stake in Game Show Network to Sony in 2019. The careers of Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods and other celebrities were interrupted by a 10-year-old Los Angeles gossip website, TV and radio show. Now TMZ has led to the sale of an NBA franchise and exposed the NFL’s domestic abuse policies, drawing comments from the president and members of Congress. Did it also expose the shortcomings of the mainstream media?
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The article quoted an unidentified “senior administration official” as saying, “After meeting with African-American leaders, he felt the consensus was that the term ‘black’ was obsolete.” TMZ then went on to claim that “since 1976 Every U.S. president has designated February as Black History Month.”
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If TMZ did a quick Google search, they’d find that President Obama also declared February “African American History Month.” In a proclamation dated January 29, 2016, President Obama wrote (emphasis mine):
Therefore, now, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby declare February 2016 to be National African American History Month.
The same was true for 2015, and it appears that no presidential proclamations were issued in 2014, according to the archives of presidential proclamations. Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton also declared February African American History Month.
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TMZ should stick to reporting celebrity gossip and leave the real reporting to people with basic research skills.
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