FOX Entertainment has acquired the entertainment platform TMZ and all its media properties from WarnerMedia.
Under terms of the agreement, FOX will own and operate all TMZ-branded linear, digital and experiential assets, including its hit syndicated magazine programmes, TMZ and TMZ LIVE, both of which air on 18 network affiliates owned by FOX Television Stations; the dedicated sports site TMZ Sports and programme TMZ SPORTS, which airs on FS1; and celebrity tour operations in Los Angeles. In a significant expansion of FOX’s digital footprint, the acquisition also includes TMZ’s celebrity and culture outlet, TooFab.com, and its flagship outlet, TMZ.com. TMZ provides FOX the opportunity to further market and monetise the TMZ brand across its station group; ad-supported streamer, Tubi; and other FOX-owned platforms.
FOX Television Stations’ in-house syndication division, FOX First Run, will oversee all programme sales, marketing and affiliate relations for TMZ and TMZ LIVE, effective immediately. The two programs have been renewed through 2022-23, with TMZ cleared in 99 per cent of the country this coming season and TMZ LIVE cleared in 72 per cent of the US.
TMZ Founder and Managing Editor Harvey Levin will remain with TMZ and continue to oversee day-to-day operations for the brand. He will report to Rob Wade, FOX Entertainment’s President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials. TMZ was founded in 2005 by Levin and the late Jim Paratore.
“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,” said Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation. “TMZ has been an impactful programme for our FOX television stations and broadcast partners for many years and I know Jack Abernethy and Charlie Collier will find creative ways to utilise and expand this content in effective and compelling ways for our audiences.”
“When I see a breaking celebrity-related story that is equal parts shocking, fun and addictive, I know it’s TMZ,” said Collier. “Whether via broadcast or digital, TMZ has brought its brand-defining energy and sense of urgency to fans across the planet. We see great potential in building upon this franchise by adding new creative ventures with Harvey and everyone at TMZ. Here’s to Harvey, Charles and the team leaning over FOX cubicles for years to come.”
“Harvey Levin created a groundbreaking destination for entertainment news, and for the past 15+ years TMZ has celebrated great success. TMZ will now be more closely aligned with the distributor of the popular content they create, and WarnerMedia wishes Harvey and everyone on the team the best as they venture into a new partnership with the talented team at FOX,” said Channing Dungey, Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group.
Levin added: “We couldn’t be more charged. FOX Entertainment is opening up a world of opportunities for TMZ to grow our current platforms and expand in every which way.”