How to Sell Celeb Scoops to Tabloids – Some Payout Info

Note: I wrote this some time ago and never posted it since I had already posted something similar earlier. Go down to the ‘Conclusions” section where you can see some examples of the amount of money that TMZ pays for videos.


There are several ways to sell stories to tabloids, media sites and TV nightly entertainment shows. You can hawk your scoop yourself or use a go-between.

Selling A Scoop Yourself

E News has a post that describes how to go about selling a celebrity scoop to the tabloids. D-level media sites that post tip lines probably operate the same way. Article highlights are below.

  • Tabloids and nightly TV entertainment sites pay for gossip.
  • Call  the NY or LA office of the site you are interested in and ask for an unattainable item, such as tickets to the Vanity Fair Oscar party or money. Chances are they’ll give you the money.
  • With respect to the scoop, tabloids are only interested in certain celebrities. For example, movies stars get more reads than TV stars who get more reads than sports stars. Also, movies stars with current movies out or those who have won Oscars or some other prominent award garner more interest than others.
  • Tabloids will want to look at your information before paying up. Chances are there will be some scoops that they are aware of but won’t run to avoid lawsuits. They will also be weary of tricky subject or allegations if they are made against a law-suit happy celebrity.

Selling A Scoop Using a Third Party

Talk To the Press has a post up on how to contact them for help selling your scoop/story to TMZ. Highlights are below

  • They crow about turning your celebrity gossip into a “brilliant story story that will grace gossip columns around the globe while securing you a fantastic fee”.
  • They serve as a protective layer between you and the journalists at TMZ and other gossip sites.
  • Just fill out their form to submit your story. They will shop it to TMZ and if the money offered isn’t great, they will shop it to other gossip sites.

How Much Does TMZ Pay

WTSP posted an article on TMZ that came from an investigative story on how TMZ gets their stories that was done by New York Magazine. The following caught my eye as examples of how much they paid for clips that were used for two of their stories.

TMZ pays many of its tipsters – sources not employees. According to The New Yorker, TMZ paid over $100,000 for the surveillance videos of Ray Rice hitting and knocking his fiancée unconscious in a hotel elevator in 2014. The video of Solange kicking Jay-Z allegedly cost $5,000. (bolding mine)


You can read the articles for more details. Suffice it to say, we have an A-lister here who has had a banner year career wise with several box office successes released the summer of 2019 when a lot of stories pushing a false narrative involving a certain someone started appearing. The A-lister has no need of money, is not law-suit happy and has no reason to push a steaming pile of horse poop.

There is one person in the equation, though, who seeks both money and fame and can’t get it on her own merit. Well $100,000 or $5000 for a video isn’t chump change. If TMZ pays those sums of money for videos, what do they and other outlets pay for photos? Your guess is as good as mine.

Note 2: With respect to the fiasco in San Francisco on February 15, what does TMZ pay when you drag along a pap to get photos of you visiting the boyfriend on a movie set in San Francisco and can’t deliver the money shot?