The Nation



Spinoff takes Time Inc. back to the future

WASHINGTON - Storied magazine publisher Time Inc. gets a fresh start with its upcoming spinoff as an independent company in a challenging and fast-changing media landscape. The split highlights the woes of print journalism, which has been suffering for years from a move to digital news.

The June 6 move split the magazine arm -- including the famed Time newsweekly, Fortune, People and Sport Illustrated -- from media giant Time Warner, ending a marriage that merged the two firms in 1990.

The new firm is the latest publishing spinoff from a big conglomerate. It comes on the heels of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. splitting its entertainment and publishing segments, and a similar action planned by Tribune Co.

Time Warner "is dumping the magazines to save themselves from continual losses year after year," said Nikki Usher, a George Washington University professor specializing in new media.

Ken Doctor, analyst at the research firm Outsell, agreed, saying "this is an affirmation that print-based publishing assets have no growth prospects."


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