This just in! TMZ is a titillating tabloid for scandalous celebutainment. TMZ Productions operates TMZ.com, a Web site that leads the way in no-holds-barred celebrity gossip. The site delivers the goods faster than the paparazzi can take pictures, with constant updates featuring photos and videos of celebs caught off-guard. TMZ also produces a half-hour syndicated TV gossip show on FOX. TMZ has been criticized for hounding celebrities and using paparazzi photos, which became a sensitive issue after Princess Diana's death in 1997. In 2009 TMZ was first to report that pop star Michael Jackson died, and was also aggressive in its coverage of the Tiger Woods scandal that year. Media giant Time Warner owns TMZ.
TMZ was formerly a joint venture between AOL and Telepictures Productions, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment (itself a part of the Time Warner corporate entity). Following AOL's separation from Time Warner in 2009, the company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telepictures.
As a result of becoming the sole owner, Warner Bros. is ramping up efforts to expand TMZ. Traffic to TMZ.com has historically been driven by AOL. (The Web portal's PopEater.com gossip site partnered with TMZ to provide celebrity information). However, going forward, Warner Bros. plans to partner with other portals to broaden TMZ's reach. It additionally plans to grow TMZ's news operation, and increase its presence on mobile phones. Warner Bros. expects to achieve these goals by selling more advertising on its TV show and Web site.
TMZ managing editor and former lawyer Harvey Levin is no stranger to tabloids. The former Celebrity Justice executive producer also spent many years covering the courts as a television reporter in Los Angeles.
The company was founded in 2005. It takes its name from the term "Thirty Mile Zone", which originated in the 1960s to describe the area around Hollywood that studios used to enforce union rules for filming. – less