Time Warner to spin off magazines
New York - Media conglomerate Time Warner is in talks to spin off much of the magazine division Time Inc on which the company was founded, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The 49-billion-dollar company was said to be in talks with Meredith, a media company, to create a publicly traded entity that would own Time titles such as People, InStyle and Real Simple as well as Meredith magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’Home Journal.
However, iconic titles such as Time, Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated would remain under Time Warner ownership since they fit with the group’s other journalistic properties such as CNN, the report said.
Time Warner also owns subscription cable channel HBO and the Warner Bros film studio which made franchise hits like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
The potential deal underscores the changing fortunes of print magazines which are seeing their sales fall dramatically as readers switch to digital media.
The reports of the spin-off came just two weeks after Time Inc CEO Laura Lang announced a 6-per-cent staff cut that would affect some 500 of the division’s global staff of 8,000.
Sales of the magazine division sank 7 per cent last year to 3.4 billion dollars while profits sank 25 per cent to 420 million dollars.//DPA