American Media, which publishes titles including the National Enquirer, Men’s Journal and Us Weekly, says that chief content officer Dylan Howard has the company’s “full support” following what it calls “baseless” allegations of sexual misconduct.
An Associated Press report details a string of charges made against Howard by several former employees of the company. Included in the report are allegations that he forced women to watch or listen to pornographic material, encouraged employees to call him “Dildo,” openly discussed his sexual partners in the newsroom and suggested that one employee create a Facebook page for her vagina.
The behavior, which is said to have occurred while Howard was at the helm of the company's Los Angeles office, led to a 2012 inquiry by an outside consultant, after which former employees said he stopped working out of that office.
Cam Stracher, a lawyer for American Media, told AP that the inquiry found no evidence of wrongdoing serious enough to justify disciplinary action or firing. AMI spokesman Jon Hammond said that “the investigation described an environment where employees mixed socially outside the office — sometimes at bars — but found no direct support for the allegations of harassment made by the two complainants."
While Howard resigned from the company in 2012, he was rehired and promoted one year later to a spot in American Media’s New York office. As CCO, he currently is the top editor at titles including the National Enquirer and Us Weekly.
American Media’s website says that the company’s publications have a combined total circulation of more than 2.3 million, reaching over 51 million consumers each month. The company acquired Us Weekly from Wenner Media in March, and has been suggested as a potential buyer for Time magazine.