Celebrity is the fame and public attention accorded by the mass media to individuals or groups or animals, but is applied to the persons or groups of people themselves who receive such a status of fame and attention. Celebrity status is associated with wealth, while fame provides opportunities to earn revenue. Successful careers in sports and entertainment are associated with celebrity status, while political leaders become celebrities. People may become celebrities due to media attention on their lifestyle, wealth, or controversial actions, or for their connection to a famous person. Athletes in Ancient Greece were welcomed home as heroes, had songs and poems written in their honor, received free food and gifts from those seeking celebrity endorsement. Ancient Rome lauded actors and notorious gladiators, Julius Caesar appeared on a coin in his own lifetime. In the early 12th century, Thomas Becket became famous following his murder, he was promoted by the Christian Church as a martyr and images of him and scenes from his life became widespread in just a few years.
In a pattern repeated, what started out as an explosion of popularity turned into long-lasting fame: pilgrimages to Canterbury Cathedral where he was killed became fashionable and the fascination with his life and death have inspired plays and films. The cult of personality can be traced back to the Romantics in the 18th century, whose livelihood as artists and poets depended on the currency of their reputation; the establishment of cultural hot-spots became an important factor in the process of generating fame: for example and Paris in the 18th and 19th centuries. Newspapers started including gossip columns and certain clubs and events became places to be seen in order to receive publicity; the movie industry spread around the globe in the first half of the 20th century and with it the now familiar concept of the recognizable faces of its superstars. Yet, celebrity was not always tied to actors in films when cinema was starting out as a medium; as Paul McDonald states in The Star System: Hollywood's Production of Popular Identities, "in the first decade of the twentieth century, American film production companies withheld the names of film performers, despite requests from audiences, fearing that public recognition would drive performers to demand higher salaries."
Public fascination went well beyond the on-screen exploits of movie stars and their private lives became headline news: for example, in Hollywood the marriages of Elizabeth Taylor and in Bollywood the affairs of Raj Kapoor in the 1950s. The second half of the century saw television and popular music bring new forms of celebrity, such as the rock star and the pop group, epitomised by Elvis Presley and the Beatles, respectively. John Lennon's controversial 1966 quote: "We're more popular than Jesus now," which he insisted was not a boast, that he was not in any way comparing himself with Christ, gives an insight into both the adulation and notoriety that fame can bring. Unlike movies, television created celebrities who were not actors. However, most of these are only famous within the regions reached by their particular broadcaster, only a few such as Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Springer, or David Frost could be said to have broken through into wider stardom. In the'60s and early'70s, the book publishing industry began to persuade major celebrities to put their names on autobiographies and other titles in a genre called celebrity publishing.
In most cases, the book was not written by the celebrity but by a ghost-writer, but the celebrity would be available for a book tour and appearances on talk shows. Cultures and regions with a significant population may have their own independent celebrity systems, with distinct hierarchies. For example, the Canadian province of Quebec, French-speaking, has its own system of French-speaking television and music celebrities. A person who garners a degree of fame in one culture may be considered less famous or obscure in another; some nationwide celebrities might command some attention outside their own nation. S. whereas the francophone Canadian singer Celine Dion is well known in both the French-speaking world and in the United States. Regions within a country, or cultural communities can have their own celebrity systems in linguistically or culturally distinct regions such as Quebec or Wales. Regional radio personalities, politicians or community leaders may be local or regional celebrities. In politics, certain politicians are recognizable to many people the head of state and the Prime Minister.
Yet only heads of state who play a major role in international politics have a good chance of becoming famous outside their country's borders, since they are featured in mass media. The President of the United States, for instance, is famous by name and face to millions of people around the world. Since World War II the U. S. Presidential elections are followed all across the globe, making the elected candidate world-famous as a result. In contrast, both the Pope and The Dalai Lama are far more famous under their official title than under their actual names; when politicians leave active politics their recognizability tends to diminish among general audiences, as
New York Post
The New York Post is a daily newspaper in New York City. The Post operates the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com, the entertainment site Decider.com, co-produces the television show Page Six TV. The modern version of the paper is published in tabloid format. Established in 1801 by Federalist and Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, it became a respected broadsheet in the 19th century, under the name New York Evening Post. In 1976, Rupert Murdoch bought the Post for US$30.5 million. Since 1993, the Post has been owned by News Corporation and its successor, News Corp, which had owned it from 1976 to 1988, its editorial offices are located at 1211 Avenue of the Americas. Its distribution ranked 5th in the US in 2018; the New York Post, established on November 16, 1801, as the New-York Evening Post, describes itself as the nation's oldest continuously published daily newspaper. The Providence Journal, which began daily publication on July 21, 1829 bills itself as the nation's oldest continuously published daily newspaper because the New York Post halted publication during strikes in 1958 and 1978.
The Hartford Courant, believed to be the oldest continuously published newspaper, was founded in 1764 as a semi-weekly paper. The New Hampshire Gazette, which has trademarked its claim of being The Nation's Oldest Newspaper, was founded in 1756 as a weekly. Since the 1890s it has been published only on weekends; the Post was founded by Alexander Hamilton with about US$10,000 from a group of investors in the autumn of 1801 as the New-York Evening Post, a broadsheet. Hamilton's co-investors included other New York members of the Federalist Party, such as Robert Troup and Oliver Wolcott, who were dismayed by the election of Thomas Jefferson as U. S. President and the rise in popularity of the Democratic-Republican Party; the meeting at which Hamilton first recruited investors for the new paper took place in the then-country weekend villa, now Gracie Mansion. Hamilton chose William Coleman as his first editor; the most famous 19th-century Evening Post editor was the poet and abolitionist William Cullen Bryant.
So well respected was the Evening Post under Bryant's editorship, it received praise from the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, in 1864. In the summer of 1829, Bryant invited William Leggett, the Locofoco Democrat, to write for the paper. There, in addition to literary and drama reviews, Leggett began to write political editorials. Leggett's classical liberal philosophy entailed a fierce opposition to central banking, a support for voluntary labor unions, a dedication to laissez-faire economics, he was a member of the Equal Rights Party. Leggett became a co-owner and editor at the Post in 1831 working as sole editor of the newspaper while Bryant traveled in Europe in 1834 through 1835. Another co-owner of the paper was John Bigelow. Born in Malden-on-Hudson, New York, John Bigelow, Sr. graduated in 1835 from Union College, where he was a member of the Sigma Phi Society and the Philomathean Society, was admitted to the bar in 1838. From 1849 to 1861, he was one of the co-owners of the Evening Post.
In 1881 Henry Villard took control of the Evening Post, as well as The Nation, which became the Post's weekly edition. With this acquisition, the paper was managed by the triumvirate of Carl Schurz, Horace White, Edwin L. Godkin; when Schurz left the paper in 1883, Godkin became editor-in-chief. White became editor-in-chief in 1899, remained in that role until his retirement in 1903. In 1897, both publications passed to the management of Villard's son, Oswald Garrison Villard, a founding member of both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union. Villard sold the paper in 1918, after widespread allegations of pro-German sympathies during World War I hurt its circulation; the new owner was Thomas Lamont, a senior partner in the Wall Street firm of J. P. Morgan & Co.. Unable to stem the paper's financial losses, he sold it to a consortium of 34 financial and reform political leaders, headed by Edwin Francis Gay, dean of the Harvard Business School, whose members included Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Conservative Cyrus H. K. Curtis—publisher of the Ladies Home Journal—purchased the Evening Post in 1924 and turned it into a non-sensational tabloid in 1933. In 1934, J. David Stern purchased the paper, changed its name to the New York Post, restored its broadsheet size and liberal perspective. In 1939, Dorothy Schiff purchased the paper, her husband, George Backer, was named publisher. Her second editor Ted Thackrey became co-publisher and co-editor with Schiff in 1942. Together, they recast the newspaper into its current tabloid format. In 1948 The Bronx Home News merged with it. In 1949, James Wechsler became editor of the paper, running both the editorial pages. In 1961, he turned over the news section to Paul Sann and remained as editorial-page editor until 1980. Under Schiff's tenure the Post was devoted to liberalism, supporting trade unions and social welfare, featured some of the most-popular columnists of the time, such as Joseph Cookman, Drew Pearson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Max Lerner, Murray Kempton, Pete Hamill, Eric Sevareid, in addition to theatre critic Richard Watts, Jr. and gossip columnist Earl Wilson.
In November 1976, it was announced that Rupert Murdoch had bought the Post from Schiff with the intention she would remain as a consultant for five years. It emerged that Murdoch bought the newspaper for US$30.5 million. The Post at this point was the only surviving afternoon daily in New York City and its circulation under Schiff had grown by two-thirds after the failure of the competing World Journal Tribu
Publicity is the public visibility or awareness for any product, service or company. It may refer to the movement of information from its source to the general public but not always via the media; the subjects of publicity include people and services, works of art or entertainment. Art critic John Berger explains,"Publicity is not an assembly of competing messages: it is a language in itself, always being used to make the same general proposal, it proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives by buying..publicity is not paid for something more." A publicist is someone that carries out publicity, while public relations is the strategic management function that helps an organization communicate and maintaining communication with the public. This can be done internally, without the use of popular media. From a marketing perspective, publicity is one component of marketing; the other elements of the promotional mix are advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing and personal selling.
Publicity is referred to as the result of public relations, in terms of providing favourable information to media and any third party outlets. This is done to provide a message to consumers without having to pay for direct space; this in return achieves greater credibility. After the message has been distributed, the publicist in charge of the information will lose control of how the message is used and interpreted, in contrast to the way it works in advertising. According to Grunig, public relations is reduced to publicity, he states how publicity is a form of activity in which should be associated with the sales promotion effort of a company, in order to help aid advertising and personal salesmanship as well. Kent stated that the doing of publicity can help attract attention whilst supplying information regarding a specific organization or individual client and any event, activity or attribute associated with them; the use of publicity is known to be an important strategic element and promotional tool due to its effect of intentional exposure on a consumer.
This helps publicity gain a beneficial advantage over other marketing aspects such as Advertising alongside its high credibility. Favourable publicity is created through reputation management, in which organizations try strive to control via the web. Furthermore, despite the fact that publicity, both good or bad, can be beneficial for an organization, company or individual, much of it is paid for despite claims that publicity is free. Despite publicity being an influential benefit within the marketing sector, one disadvantage which affects publicity is the lack of ability in which publicity cannot be repeated, in comparison to paid advertising. A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a company, public figure, or work such as a book, movie, or band. Though there are many aspects to a publicist's job, their main function is to persuade the press to report about their client in the most positive way possible. Publicists identify "newsworthy" aspects of products and personalities to offer to the press as possible reportage ideas.
They are responsible for shaping reportage about their clients in a timely manner that fits within a media outlet's news cycle. They attempt to present a newsworthy story in a way that influences editorial coverage in a certain positive, direction; this is what is referred to as "spin." A publicist serves as a bridge between a client and the public Although day-to-day duties vary depending on what each clients needs consist of, the main focal point for a publicist is promotion. With regard to a crisis situation, publicists attempt to use the situation as an opportunity to get their organization's or client's name into the media. Elizabeth L. Toth describes how press agents are willing to intrigue news outlets, mainstream media and web blogs with “bad news” in order to “sell” a story and help gain further coverage for their clients; this is supported by the press agentry/publicity model, used within the fashion and entertainment industries, following the presumption that bad news can be good publicity.
Publicists are most categorized under a marketing arm of a company. The phrase any press is good press was coined to describe situations where bad behaviour by people involved with an organization or brand have resulted in positive results, due to the fame and press coverage accrued by such events. For example, the Australian Tourism Board's "So where the bloody hell are you?" advertising campaign was banned in the UK, but the amount of publicity the ban generated resulted in the official website for the campaign being swamped with requests to see the banned ad. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, upon visiting Australia, said "and here I am, in the Australian parliament building at what I think is something like four o'clock in the morning in the UK, and so I'm thinking, so where the bloody hell am I?"Publicity is known to contain high credibility, making it more influential in comparison to other market-driven communications. This in itself can affect consumers' thoughts by catching them'off-guard,’ applying differentiation between advertising.
The use of publicity may influence a consumer's attitude towards an advertisement or brand because of its high credibility value, in order to assess the trustworthiness of further informat
Ashford University is an online for-profit university headquartered in San Diego, California. It is the primary educational holding of Zovio The university offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees in more than 50 degree programs online; the university consists of five colleges: the Division of General Education, the Forbes School of Business & Technology, the College of Education, the College of Health, Human Services, Science, the College of Liberal Arts. Ashford is accredited by the WASC Senior University Commission. Ashford University claims a history dating back to 1918; the school, has stronger roots with TeleUniversity, an online school created by entrepreneur Michael K. Clifford in 1999. In 2005, TeleUniversity's parent company, for-profit Bridgepoint Education, purchased the small Franciscan University of the Plains campus in Clinton and renamed it Ashford University. Most of Ashford University's students, were enrolled to learn online. Seeing a need for higher education in Clinton County and the surrounding area, the Sisters of Saint Francis founded Mount St. Clare College in 1918.
This liberal arts institution was an approved teacher education college from 1932 to 1954. In 1942, 60% of the rural teachers in Clinton County and 62% of the teachers in the city of Clinton school system had received all their training from Mount St. Clare College. In 1950, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools first accredited Mount St. Clare College; the college began to expand and acquired a convent building, new library, new gymnasium, the Science Building, Durham Residence Hall. The college became coeducational in 1967. For the 1979–1980 school year, the college received approval for its first four-year degree, a bachelor's program in business administration. During the same year, Mount St. Clare Academy merged with St. Mary's High School in Clinton, forming Mater Dei High School. With the space freed by the academy's merger, the school began to offer additional four-year programs. In 1997, the sisters moved off campus into The Canticle. In 1998, the Durgin Educational Center was opened, which included new athletic facilities, including Kehl arena.
In 2003, Mount St. Clare College changed its name to The Franciscan University. At the same time, the university received approval to offer its first master's degree online. In September 2004, the school modified its name to The Franciscan University of the Prairies in order to avoid confusion with named schools. After a period of financial difficulty, the university was purchased by Bridgepoint Education in March 2005. After the completion of the sale, the institution's name was changed to Ashford University. Sponsorship by the Sisters of St. Francis ended. In 2010, Ashford University was highlighted in College, Inc. a PBS Frontline exposé about for-profit colleges. Although the university was regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, it sought regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 2010. In June 2012, WASC denied initial accreditation to Ashford University. Following WASC's denial of accreditation for being "lacking in several areas, including low numbers of full-time faculty, high student dropout rates and questions about academic rigor," WASC demanded additional information from Ashford prior to an October site visit.
In response to accreditation concerns, the school's trustees appointed Richard Pattenaude as president in October 2012. Pattenaude is a former chancellor of the University of Maine System who served as chairman of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a regional accrediting body. Although its initial application to WASC was denied in 2010, its second application was accepted in 2013. In approving accreditation, the WASC Commission Action Letter stated "The Commission found that the University has responded to Commission concerns and judges that it is now in substantial compliance with Commission standards." The WASC visiting team noted in its final report that "the team found an institution, fundamentally transformed and whose culture has been changed in significant ways, including a shift from a market driven approach to an institution committed to student retention and success". In 2013, Ashford University announced an alliance with business publisher Forbes Media.
Under the terms of the alliance, Ashford's College of Business and Professional Studies was renamed the Forbes School of Business. It was renamed as the Forbes School of Business & Technology at Ashford University. Ashford University teams were known as the Saints; the university competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as an Independent member. Men's sports included baseball, golf, tennis, cross country, track and field. Ashford University offered many extracurricular organizations for students. Academic organizations included the Ashford Junior-Senior Honor Society, the Ashford Student Iowa State Education Association, the Golden Key International Honour Society, the Mu Sigma Eta math and science honor society, the Phi Beta Lambda business organization, the Psychology Club, the Scholars Institute honors program, the Sigma Tau Delta literature and education honor society. While a majority of students were enrolled in online course
A restaurant, or an eatery, is a business which prepares and serves food and drinks to customers in exchange for money. Meals are served and eaten on the premises, but many restaurants offer take-out and food delivery services, some offer only take-out and delivery. Restaurants vary in appearance and offerings, including a wide variety of cuisines and service models ranging from inexpensive fast food restaurants and cafeterias to mid-priced family restaurants, to high-priced luxury establishments. In Western countries, most mid- to high-range restaurants serve alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine; some restaurants serve all the major meals, such as breakfast and dinner. Other restaurants may only serve a single meal or they may serve two meals; the word derives from the French verb "restaurer" and, being the present participle of the verb, it means "that which restores". The term restaurant was defined in 1507 as a "restorative beverage", in correspondence in 1521 to mean "that which restores the strength, a fortifying food or remedy".
The first use of the word to refer to a public venue where one can order food is believed to be in the 18th century. In 1765, a French chef by the name of A. Boulanger established a business selling soups and other "restaurants". Additionally, while not the first establishment where one could order food, or soups, it is thought to be the first to offer a menu of available choices The "first real restaurant" is considered to have been "La Grande Taverne de Londres" in Paris, founded by Antoine Beauviliers in either 1782 or 1786. According to Brillat-Savarin, this was "the first to combine the four essentials of an elegant room, smart waiters, a choice cellar, superior cooking". In 1802 the term was applied to an establishment where restorative foods, such as bouillon, a meat broth, were served. Restaurants are distinguished in many different ways; the primary factors are the food itself. Beyond this, restaurants may differentiate themselves on factors including speed, location, service, or novelty themes.
Restaurants range from inexpensive and informal lunching or dining places catering to people working nearby, with modest food served in simple settings at low prices, to expensive establishments serving refined food and fine wines in a formal setting. In the former case, customers wear casual clothing. In the latter case, depending on culture and local traditions, customers might wear semi-casual, semi-formal or formal wear. At mid- to high-priced restaurants, customers sit at tables, their orders are taken by a waiter, who brings the food when it is ready. After eating, the customers pay the bill. In some restaurants, such as workplace cafeterias, there are no waiters. Another restaurant approach which uses few waiters is the buffet restaurant. Customers serve food onto their own plates and pay at the end of the meal. Buffet restaurants still have waiters to serve drinks and alcoholic beverages. Fast food restaurants are considered a restaurant; the travelling public has long been catered for with ship's messes and railway restaurant cars which are, in effect, travelling restaurants.
Many railways, the world over cater for the needs of travellers by providing railway refreshment rooms, a form of restaurant, at railway stations. In the 2000s, a number of travelling restaurants designed for tourists, have been created; these can be found on trams, buses, etc. A restaurant's proprietor is called a restaurateur, this derives from the French verb restaurer, meaning "to restore". Professional cooks are called chefs, with there being various finer distinctions. Most restaurants will have various waiting staff to serve food and alcoholic drinks, including busboys who remove used dishes and cutlery. In finer restaurants, this may include a host or hostess, a maître d'hôtel to welcome customers and to seat them, a sommelier or wine waiter to help patrons select wines. A new route to becoming a restauranter, rather than working one's way up through the stages, is to operate a food truck. Once a sufficient following has been obtained, a permanent restaurant site can be opened; this trend has become common in the UK and the US.
A chef's table is a table located in the kitchen of a restaurant, reserved for VIPs and special guests. Patrons may be served a themed tasting menu served by the head chef. Restaurants can charge a higher flat fee; because of the demand on the kitchen's facilities, chef's tables are only available during off-peak times. In China, food catering establishments that may be described as restaurants have been known since the 11th century in Kaifeng, China's capital during the first half of the Song dynasty. Growing out of the tea houses and taverns that catered to travellers, Kaifeng's restaurants blossomed into an industry catering to locals as well as people from ot
A brand is an overall experience of a customer that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands; the practice of branding is thought to have begun with the ancient Egyptians, who were known to have engaged in livestock branding as early as 2,700 BCE. Branding was used to differentiate one person’s cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal’s skin with a hot branding iron. If a person stole any of the cattle, anyone else who saw the symbol could deduce the actual owner. However, the term has been extended to mean a strategic personality for a product or company, so that ‘brand’ now suggests the values and promises that a consumer may perceive and buy into. Over time, the practice of branding objects extended to a broader range of packaging and goods offered for sale including oil, wine and fish sauce. Branding in terms of painting a cow with symbols or colors at flea markets was considered to be one of the oldest forms of the practice.
Branding is a set of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company or products from competitors, aiming to create a lasting impression in the minds of customers. The key components that form a brand's toolbox include a brand’s identity, brand communication, brand awareness, brand loyalty, various branding strategies. Many companies believe that there is little to differentiate between several types of products in the 21st century, therefore branding is one of a few remaining forms of product differentiation. Brand equity is the measurable totality of a brand's worth and is validated by assessing the effectiveness of these branding components; as markets become dynamic and fluctuating, brand equity is a marketing technique to increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, with side effects like reduced price sensitivity. A brand is, in essence, a promise to its customers of what they can expect from products and may include emotional as well as functional benefits.
When a customer is familiar with a brand, or favours it incomparably to its competitors, this is when a corporation has reached a high level of brand equity. Special accounting standards have been devised to assess brand equity. In accounting, a brand defined as an intangible asset, is the most valuable asset on a corporation’s balance sheet. Brand owners manage their brands to create shareholder value, brand valuation is an important management technique that ascribes a monetary value to a brand, allows marketing investment to be managed to maximize shareholder value. Although only acquired brands appear on a company's balance sheet, the notion of putting a value on a brand forces marketing leaders to be focused on long term stewardship of the brand and managing for value; the word ‘brand’ is used as a metonym referring to the company, identified with a brand. Marque or make are used to denote a brand of motor vehicle, which may be distinguished from a car model. A concept brand is a brand, associated with an abstract concept, like breast cancer awareness or environmentalism, rather than a specific product, service, or business.
A commodity brand is a brand associated with a commodity. The word, derives from its original and current meaning as a firebrand, a burning piece of wood; that word comes from the Old High German and Old English byrnan and brinnan via Middle English as birnan and brond. Torches were used to indelibly mark items such as furniture and pottery, to permanently burn identifying marks into the skin of slaves and livestock; the firebrands were replaced with branding irons. The marks themselves took on the term and came to be associated with craftsmen's products. Through that association, the term acquired its current meaning. Branding and labelling have an ancient history. Branding began with the practice of branding livestock in order to deter theft. Images of the branding of cattle occur in ancient Egyptian tombs dating to around 2,700 BCE. Over time, purchasers realised that the brand provided information about origin as well as about ownership, could serve as a guide to quality. Branding was adapted by farmers and traders for use on other types of goods such as pottery and ceramics.
Forms of branding or proto-branding emerged spontaneously and independently throughout Africa and Europe at different times, depending on local conditions. Seals, which acted as quasi-brands, have been found on early Chinese products of the Qin Dynasty. Identity marks, such as stamps on ceramics, were used in ancient Egypt. Diana Twede has argued that the "consumer packaging functions of protection and communication have been necessary whenever packages were the object of transactions", she has shown that amphorae used in Mediterranean trade between 1,500 and 500 BCE exhibited a wide variety of shapes and markings, which consumers used to glean information about the type of goods and the quality. Systematic use of stamped labels dates from around the fourth century BCE. In a pre-literate society, the shape of the amphora and its pictorial markings conveyed information about the contents, region of o
TMZ is a tabloid news website that debuted on November 8, 2005. It was a collaboration between AOL and Telepictures Productions, a division of Warner Bros. until Time Warner divested AOL in 2009. The name TMZ stands for thirty-mile zone, the historic "studio zone" within a 30-mile radius centered at the intersection of West Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. TMZ's managing editor is Harvey Levin, a lawyer-turned-journalist, a legal expert for the Los Angeles television station KCBS-TV; the site claims that it does not pay for interviews. A companion television series, TMZ on TV, debuted on September 10, 2007. Three months prior to the official launch of TMZ, America Online had hinted that it was planning to launch a Hollywood and entertainment-centric news site that would be produced in conjunction with Telepictures Productions and had shown interest in launching a website featuring a focus on celebrities. At the time of the launch, AOL confirmed that the site would feature and consist of Hollywood gossip, including interviews and video footage of celebrities and information pertaining to industry news on movies, television shows, etc.
The site was described as "an effort to further feed the current American obsession with celebrities". Mike Shields of MediaWeek.com wrote, "the site boasts of an expansive collection of archived star photos and videos", allowing fans to "trace changing hairlines and waistlines of their favorites performers over the years". Since 2005, TMZ has signed Revlon, Hilton Hotels and New Line Cinema as charter advertisers to their website; the New York Times cited TMZ as "one of the most successful online ventures of the last few years." In October 2008, the New York Times reported that TMZ, at the time, was receiving more than 10 million viewers every month. Alexa.com ranked TMZ as the 505th most trafficked website worldwide and as the 155th most trafficked website in the United States. Levin has acknowledged that TMZ has passed on multiple notable coverages because he felt that, while the stories are true, he questioned how the sources obtained their information. Levin has acknowledged that TMZ pays sources, but in the form of a "tip fee".
Levin stated that TMZ pays for photos and for'tips' or leads on stories, defended TMZ's position by stating that the sources and tips are verified before being used or reported. In November 2009, TMZ's revenue was publicly disclosed for the first time. Telepictures stated: "Subject to certain performance adjustments and the reimbursement of expenses, revenues are split evenly between the parties Telepictures received payments of US$6.2 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2009, US$12.7 million, US$9.6 million and US$3.0 million in 2008, 2007 and 2006, respectively." Based on released figures, TMZ's revenues for 2008 was US$25.4 million and is projected to have less revenue in the 2009 year with the revenue of $12.4 million in first three quarters of the year—unlike the previous year, within the US$15 million range. On May 29, 2012, co-founder Jim Paratore died of a heart attack during a cycling trip in France. Paratore was known for his work in television production, producing several daytime and syndicated programs while serving as an executive at Telepictures.
On July 28, 2006, TMZ was the first to report that actor Mel Gibson had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Along with releasing the story, TMZ reported "exclusive details" about the case shortly after. In the report TMZ posted, it contained his transport to the station and time in custody, quoted an "anonymous law enforcement source", published four pages of a handwritten arrest report, via a PDF file. TMZ claimed the documents they posted were part of the original eight-page report, written by the arresting officer, before the officer was instructed, by his superiors, to omit the inflammatory details about Gibson's alleged anti-Jewish comments and behavior. On November 7, 2006, TMZ was the first to report that pop-singer Britney Spears had filed a petition for divorce from then-husband Kevin Federline. On May 3, 2007, TMZ was the first to break the story, obtain documents, stating that socialite Paris Hilton would be sentenced to 45 days in jail as her sentencing for driving with a suspended license after losing her license from driving under the influence of alcohol four months prior.
On February 22, 2009, TMZ released what has been identified as a police evidence photo of pop-singer Rihanna after she was assaulted by now ex-partner Chris Brown. Shortly after the photo's release, Los Angeles Police Department announced that it was investigating the leak and'possible sale of the photo of Rihanna with a bruised and battered face after TMZ published them because the photo had been considered evidence. TMZ has claimed it obtained the photo but has not said how it came into possession of the photo. On February 24, 2009, TMZ was the first to break the story that, out of the US$1.6 billion Chicago's Northern Trust Bank received in federal bailout money, recipients of the money spent non-TARP dollars entertaining clients in Los Angeles at the House of Blues venue that featured performances by Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, Sheryl Crow and gift bags from Tiffany & Co. Shortly after TMZ published the story, United States Congressman Barney Frank demanded that Northern Trust repay the money it received in the bailout.
Northern Trust CEO Frederick Waddell sent a letter to members of the House Financial Services Committee, stating that the