Fox Corporation announced on Monday that it had bought the celebrity gossip brand TMZ from AT&T’s WarnerMedia.
Harvey Levin, who co-founded TMZ in 2005, will continue in his role as managing editor, Fox said in a news release. Under the deal, Fox will run TMZ’s flagship website and culture website TooFab.com, as well as its syndicated television programs and celebrity bus tours.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Three people with knowledge of the discussions said the deal valued TMZ under $50 million.
The television programs “TMZ on TV” and “TMZ Live” air on network affiliates owned by Fox Television studios, while “TMZ Sports” is broadcast on the Fox cable channel FS1. Charlie Collier, the chief executive of Fox Entertainment, a division of Fox, said the company saw “great potential in building upon this franchise by adding new creative ventures with Harvey and everyone at TMZ.”
“The unique and powerful brand Harvey has created in TMZ has forever changed the entertainment industry and we’re excited to welcome them to Fox,” Lachlan Murdoch, chief executive of Fox, said in a statement.
TMZ has been known for its brash, tabloid approach and has landed some of the entertainment industry’s biggest scoops, including the death of Michael Jackson. The property fits well with the Murdoch empire, which publishes The Sun in Britain, one of the country’s biggest newspapers. The family also owns The New York Post, with its widely read Page Six section that once was a rich source of celebrity gossip and a willing participant in Hollywood feuds.
“We couldn’t be more charged,” Mr. Levin said in the statement, adding that Fox “is opening up a world of opportunities for TMZ to grow our current platforms and expand in every which way!”
AT&T is selling assets ahead of the planned spinoff of its WarnerMedia division, which will merge with Discovery.