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Paparazzi Payola at In Touch?

As if the rate base headaches at Bauer couldn't get worse, word arrives that the New Jersey tabloid outpost has its phone taps by the feds as part of a payola investigation.

The FBI is said to be investigating claims that editors, or one in particular, are being paid by photo agencies to choose their pics to appear on the cover. (Sometimes it works in different ways.)

Cold hard cash dumped into their pockets, in exchange for editorial play, won't exactly sound alarms in the industry (c'mon), or in a courtroom. But if said editor doesn't put that income down on his tax return? Eek! And that's the claim being intimated.

Former In Touch staffers in Los Angeles are being called in by federal agents for questioning. But one source inside the company claims to have zero knowledge of the investigation, or even the allegations. "It's bullshit."

Some folks are pointing fingers at Martin Gould, the former West Coast news director who departed for a better payday at Star. But others counter it couldn't be Gould, or anyone based on the West Coast, since the LA bureau doesn't choose cover photos. That's left to Richard Spencer's team on the East Coast.

UPDATE: Bauer just issued this statement to us: "This whole story sounds ludicrous. Our West Coast bureau do not assign photo agencies - this goes through our photo desk. In Touch has not been contacted by the FBI."

Comments (2)
No. 1 · mediawhore

Why the picture of Life & Style with a story about In Touch? They're not actually the same mag, you know, appearances to the contrary.

Posted: Feb 6, 2008 at 4:02 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 2 · Sandra

i agree, you should put up In Touch cover. has nothing to do with L&S.

Posted: Feb 6, 2008 at 4:12 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
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