Classic TV Shows on DVD

Get it here!


TV Commercials on DVD Lost In Space on DVD Mr Peabody on DVD Carol Burnett Show on DVD Mary Tyler Moore Show on DVD Book About Greensboro
/ / / Classic TV Blog / / / TV Shows on DVD / / / 2014 TV Show Reviews / // / TV on BLU-RAY

History of the Tabloids
55+ Years of the National Enquirer
by Billy Ingram

Tabloid magazineThe checkout stand publication that reshaped society began in back 1952, when Italian publisher Generoso Pope, Jr. bought New York's National Enquirer racing tip sheet for $75,000.

Pope immediately changed the focus of the tabloid format paper from thoroughbreds to the bizarre and grisly. Blood and guts dominated the weekly with features like "I Cut Out Her Heart And Stomped On It!" and "I Ate My Baby!"

The Enquirer's circulation quickly rose to a million copies a week in the fifties thanks to their revolutionary distribution system that reached into neighborhood grocery stores all over America.

In the early days, Enquirer staffers were infamous for fabricating incredible stories to create sales enticing headlines, attracting customers that still held the naïve belief that 'they couldn't print it if it wasn't true'. (Some people are still duped in this way by TV shows masquerading as news like the Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity programs on Fox News.)

The National Enquirer was a newsprint version of popular scandal magazines like Confidential, which, in 1952, was beginning to feel the ill effects from celebrity lawsuits over unfounded stories they published about (for instance) actor Lee Marvin and heiress Doris Duke. After the Enquirer debuted, Confidential's circulation plummeted from 4 million to under 300,000 by the time it folded 1969.

For celebrity news, the Enquirer was mostly running adoring tales about Elvis Presley, presenting ugly stories about the decline, decay and ultimate death of Judy Garland, Jackie Kennedy Onassis' romances and exposing details about the on-again / off-again marriage of Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton.

Reporters would pose as bellboys, cops, funeral workers or whatever the situation called for to get a scoop on these stars - and if they couldn't get a good story legitimately, they frequently just made them up.

In 1968, Pope overhauled the magazine to make the National Enquirer more appealing to mainstream Americans, downplaying the weird sex and gore - emphasizing instead upbeat stories, supernatural phenomenon, miracle diets and lots more celebrity gossip. Pope also relocated the magazine's editorial offices from New York City to Lantana, Florida (near Palm Beach). Circulation jumped to three million.


For over a decade, the tabloids could always count on a good story about Judy Garland overdosing and getting her stomach pumped, getting married over and over, drunkenly trashing her fellow stars in public, passing out in her food and other unsavory activities.

Judy GarlandAfter an untold number of 'Judy Garland Near Death' headlines, the entertainer finally did die in 1969. The tabloids were able to milk the tragedy for yet another year by having Garland's ghost popping up virtually everywhere around the world (getting her stomach pumped and missing concert dates, I guess).

And the readers loved it. Trouble was, Judy headlines sold a lot of papers on a regular basis - now that she was gone, the weeklies found themselves with fewer and fewer living scandal-magnets to exploit.

Tabloid Magazine coverThe Enquirer reader's favorite celebrity - Elvis Presley - was pretty much above any scandal, his fans wouldn't believe bad things written about him no matter how true they might be. There was also an unwritten rule not to "out" successful gay stars and, let's face it, there just weren't as many celebrities running amuck in the late-sixties. At least none that America's inquiring minds really cared about.

As the seventies unfolded, competition in the form of slick magazines like Screen Stars and Photoplay was hurting sales as the Enquirer struggled to find its identity in a more modern, media-savvy world.

Richard BurtonInterest in the Burton's marital merry-go-round began to fade with the Seventies, (this was a story that had been going on for over a decade, after all).

Credibility was becoming an issue for the tabloid industry as well - the public generally knew by then that the tabloids made up stories, or based articles on the flimsiest evidence to get a sensational headline. When customers bought up the papers, they'd find themselves tricked again by another phony headline; sales slumped as a result.


sonny and cherThen, out of nowhere, came Sonny and Cher.

With a highly-rated summer television show and top-forty hits that started to take off in 1972, the whole country fell in love with the musical couple. They were so popular that Cher had four careers going at once - star of a TV series, huge hit records as part of a duo, hit records as a solo act, and her own doll making a dent in 'Barbie' sales.

Sure, Sonny and Cher had been pop stars during the mid-Sixties, but they were too 'square' for the tabloids then. This was a new Sonny and Cher, one the public knew little about. The Enquirer sold big when they featured Cher on the covers as a bead-encrusted, trailer-park Cleopatra. Bored with reading glowing stories about Elvis? No problem, the tabloids reasoned, we'll write them about Sonny and Cher and how much in love they are!

The Enquirer (and others) mostly ran with public relations, fluff stories at first - about how happy and rich the couple was. With Sonny and Cher's weekly television show getting more and more popular, issues featuring the couple on the cover flew off the racks.

Luckily (for the tabloid publishers), there were problems coming to light between the two stars almost immediately - which seems only natural, considering the stress of a runaway hit television series along with a hectic recording/touring schedule.

cher + tabloidsWith the breakup of Sonny and Cher in 1974, happily detailed blow for (sometimes fictitious) blow in the tabloids for at least a year prior - along with the separate cavorting of the two stars - the papers and the so-called "movie magazines" had fodder for the entire decade.

So much so, there were a half dozen tabloid papers crowding supermarket newsstands by 1974 - including rival Rupert Murdock's National Star, a full color tabloid launched that year with a $6 million publicity blitz.

Supermarkets opened up space around their checkout stands to display new publications when People and US magazines were unleashed in 1974 based on the demand for stories about stars like Sonny and Cher. Particularly Cher, because she was leading a roller coaster life - at least according to the Enquirer, comfortably selling around five million copies each week by that point.

Cher tabloids"But a thing I read last night really hurt my feelings," Cher said about the London Observer in 1976. "The Cher show is starting to run in England, and I guess they figure a piece like this, about me, will stir up interest. What rotten stuff! Like - 'This woman lives in a two million-dollar house, spends 500 bucks a week on manicures, drives one of her three Ferraris, when she's not using her Rolls-Royce or Mercedes, has 600 pairs of shoes, and 1000 beaded dresses, and she's not happy, and isn't it a shame.' I sure as hell wouldn't like anybody like that. Thank God she doesn't resemble anybody I know."

CherThe tabloids linked Cher to everyone living and dead - married one month, divorced and pregnant the next. She reunites with Sonny, then drops Sonny, dates every other star in Hollywood, opens a roller-disco, goes punk rock, then starts dating guys half her age.

Just throw in a few other bizarre details, true or not, it didn't matter - because it's perfectly legal to print just about anything you like about a celebrity.


History of the Tabloids Part Two /





Classic Commercials on DVDTV Commercials on DVD

"I'd much rather be Robert Redford, who doesn't get everything he does examined so closely, but I'm not. Unfortunately, this is my life in show business. Sometimes it hurts you, but there's not very much you can do about it. Also, I think the press hasn't been so unkind to me - they could have been a lot worse." - Cher in 1980.

"Isn't it about time we banded together to get rid of that piece of garbage?" - Larry Hagman
on the National Enquirer

The Weekly World News (with stories rejected from the Enquirer) was launched when The National Enquirer went to color - so the Enquirer's old black and white presses could stay busy.

Thanks to Justin Kaplowitz for video clips!

TV on DVD / /Holiday Specials on DVD / /TV Commercials on DVD

Please consider a donation
so we can continue this work!


Amazon Prime - unlimited streaming
of your fave TV shows and movies!
Get your FREE 30 Day Trial!

PR4 & PR5 Pages for Advertising



TVparty! Classic TV




Daktari on DVD

Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments
Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / Punk Book / / 1970's TV / Groucho vs William F Buckley / / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 

Sonny and Cher Show on DVD Ark IIon DVD Family Affair on DVD  Mary Tyler Moore Show on DVD Hong Kong Fooey on DVD Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD Tennessee Tuxedo on DVD
Looking for classic TV DVDs?/See below:
TV Commercials on DVD Wrestling DVDs Classic TV Books
you're looking
for is right here:

Save money!