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‘National Enquirer,’ Bastion of American Journalism, Is in Decline

Photo: National Enquirer

If the story of National Enquirer’s life were a movie, it would be an heroic tale, a thirties black-and-white flick with a soft-focus ending, in which the tabloid — disrespected, abused, scoffed at for much of its life — eventually manages to break through, trump its critics and get the recognition it deserves — only to die of consumption in the third act.

Today the Times’ David Carr, like a number of people last week, grudgingly tipped his hat to the “supermarket tabloid” for their reporting on the John Edwards affair. “Yankee ingenuity and shoe leather (no doubt along with some well-placed gratuities to relevant sources) had cracked yet another huge story,” he writes. Then he added that it may be their last:

Like any journalism, what the Enquirer does costs money … and that’s in short supply at the headquarters of American Media. The company’s revenue for the quarter ended June 30 was $119 million, down 2 percent. Operating income was off slightly at $26 million and over all, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were down 6 percent. “They don’t have a lot of options,” said one media investment banker who followed the company in the past. “They can walk away, or they can sell assets. There will not be another big refinancing. They are pretty much at the end of the line.”

Aw. See, even though the Enquirer is different from the Times, they are the same. It’s kind of like Tropic Thunder, actually. “You’re my brother!” [Death.]

The Enquirer: Even Scandal Can Be News [NYT]

‘National Enquirer,’ Bastion of American Journalism, Is in Decline