A tabloid that has long prided itself on turning heads in supermarket checkout lines is heading back to its New York roots.
The National Enquirer is leaving its Boca Raton, Florida, headquarters and in June will begin operations in New York under a new editor with a mandate to broaden its audience and give it some Internet-age flourish.
“This is a move that is designed to build on the extraordinary,” said Dylan Howard, the 32-year-old who is becoming editor of the publication, while retaining his title of editorial director of RadarOnline.
Radar and the Enquirer will remain separate, each with their own staffs, but Howard said there would be “closer collaboration” between the titles and that the Enquirer would seek to bolster its online offerings.
Radar dwarfs the Enquirer in online traffic, boasting 138 million monthly page views by more than 13 million unique visitors, according to American Media Inc., which owns the titles. It has made a name for itself with explosive online offerings such as audio of Mel Gibson’s rants. The Enquirer, by comparison, has continued to be a print-centered product, cajoling the curious to buy with scoops, from a photo of Elvis Presley in his coffin to exclusives on John Edward’s affair. It attracts just 4.8 million monthly page views by 723,000 visitors.
“There is an insatiable appetite among my staff at RadarOnline to break the biggest, boldest and best scoops every day,” Howard said. “There is an enthusiasm there that we want to translate to the National Enquirer.”
AMI says the Enquirer generates $100 million in revenue annually. Howard said he believed the publication could garner some younger readers under his leadership. The median age of readers of the Enquirer’s print edition is about 49; its website readers are about 54.
“The Enquirer has had a laser focus on an aging audience,” he said. “I think we can find a youthful audience and appeal to a slightly wider demographic.”
AMI wouldn’t provide a precise count of Enquirer staffers affected by the move. Some have been offered new positions, including the tabloid’s outgoing editor, Tony Frost, who will oversee the Globe, National Examiner and the British edition of the Enquirer.
The National Enquirer began in 1926 as The New York Enquirer. It first moved to Florida in 1971 and has spent all but a few years of the time since based in Boca Raton.
It previously decamped to New York for several years. Its Florida headquarters was also displaced when AMI was ordered from its building on Oct. 8, 2001, three days after a photo editor died after a letter containing anthrax spores was opened.