TMZ was once just another gossip site that people didn’t trust but over time they’ve broken some of the biggest stories in sports and entertainment including the death of Michael Jackson and the footage of Ray Rice knocking out his wife Janay Rice. It’s no secret that they pay for information and footage but just how much?
Nicholas Schmidle of The New Yorker did a detailed expose on TMZ, getting information from former employees and leaked emails from the publication. During his investigation, he found out information on the video that ended Ray Rice’s career and shook up the NFL.
At around 4:30 A.M., one of the surveillance officers, sitting at a monitoring-room computer, reviewed footage from a camera that faced the elevator and, using a cell phone, surreptitiously recorded the screen. The officer then called TMZ.
On February 19th, four days after the incident at the Revel, TMZ posted a fuzzy clip of Rice dragging Palmer’s limp body from the elevator. (According to a former TMZ photographer, the site paid fifteen thousand dollars. TMZ would not discuss payments, or other internal matters, but called this figure overblown.)
Then, on September 8th, TMZ published a second surveillance video from the Revel. This one, bought for almost ninety thousand dollars, revealed what occurred inside the elevator: after the doors shut, Rice punched Palmer on the left side of her head.
You should definitely read the rest of the piece. It’s a big eye opener for those unfamiliar with the business.