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David Pecker. Photo: Francois Durand/Getty Images

David Pecker is stepping down as CEO of American Media Inc., to adopt an advisory role in the parent company of the National Enquirer as it enters a merger, per a Friday release.

The big picture: Pecker, an influential tabloid media figure, has led the company since 1999 and helped orchestrate "catch and kill" deals between two women who claimed to have past affairs with President Trump, the New York Times reports. Trump has denied the affairs.

  • New York prosecutors investigated hush payments made by American Media as a potential violation of campaign finance laws, per the Times. Pecker was given a non-prosecution deal due to his cooperation.
  • The media titan was among dozens investigated by the House Judiciary Committee last year as part of a sweeping probe of the president and his inner circle.

Details: Chris Scardino, a veteran of the company, is taking over Pecker's position as American Media merges with Accelerate 360, a sibling company managed by the same hedge fund, per the Times.

Go deeper

Where the Trump campaign's money went

In a deeply reported article on "How Trump's Billion-Dollar Campaign Lost Its Cash Advantage," the N.Y. Times' Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman found some unusual spending by the Trump campaign.

Why it matters: Money concerns are very real for President Trump's campaign — an unusual predicament for a sitting president, and one that worries veteran Republican operatives.

55 mins ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.