Fox Entertainment has acquired TMZ from WarnerMedia, the celebrity gossip site and TV shows operated by Harvey Levin, the companies said on Monday.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TMZ was, best known for breaking news on celebrity gossip and deaths, is valued at less than $ 50 million, people familiar with the matter told the Post.
Fox already knows TMZ’s business well, which includes the popular TMZ.com website and several TV shows. The local TV stations in the network broadcast the TMZ shows “TMZ” and “TMZ Live”. TMZ has also produced specials for Fox’s entertainment division, including Harry & Meghan: The Royals in Crisis and TMZ Sports, a sports gossip show broadcast on Fox Sports 1 cable network.
TMZ Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Levin has also produced shows for the Fox News Channel. According to the companies, Levin, who launched TMZ in 2005 and hosts its TV shows, will remain in charge of operations.
In a statement, Levin said that being under the Fox umbrella will create new opportunities for TMZ to grow. “We couldn’t be burdened anymore,” he added.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Levin’s contract with WarnerMedia was expiring and he was not expected to continue if TMZ had stayed there. TMZ’s coverage of movie and television stars with whom the WarnerMedia empire did business created tension, the report said.
TMZ won’t run into this problem at Fox, which mainly produces sports and reality shows like “The Masked Singer” and “Hell’s Kitchen” starring Gordon Ramsay.
“TMZ has been an impactful program for our FOX television networks and broadcast partners for many years,” said Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corp.
Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment added, “We see great potential to build on the TMZ brand and track record and add new creative projects with Harvey and the TMZ team.”
Fox and News Corp., the parent company of The Post, share ownership.
The decision to sell TMZ comes as AT&T, under the leadership of CEO John Stankey, has placed greater emphasis on selling non-core businesses to raise cash, pay off debts and make new investments in 5G technology.
Aside from the Discovery deal, AT&T. last year alone sold its anime streaming business Crunchyroll to Sony for about $ 1 billion and it Outsourcing of the DirectTV businessto sell a 30 percent stake in the private equity company TPG.