Time Inc was until 2014 the magazine publishing division of media giant Time Warner. It was the world's biggest magazine publisher, with more than 120 magazines and almost 146m readers a month. Its US titles included three of the country's biggest magazines in People, Sports Illustrated and Time, while its European operations were greatly enhanced by the purchase in 2001 of IPC Media, the UK's #1 consumer publisher. Group revenues peaked at a little under $5.0bn in 2006, but Time Inc struggled to cope with the crushing decline in print advertising revenues in favour of digital. Performance had already been in steep decline for several years when Time Warner opened talks in 2013 to sell the bulk of its titles to rival Meredith. Those negotiations ended without agreement, prompting Time Warner to spin off the business as an independent public company in early 2014 under chairman & CEO Joseph Ripp. Rich Battista succeeded Ripp as CEO in 2016. Revenues slumped to a new low of $3.08bn that year, and a second consecutive net loss. Since the end of 2016, the company had received several approaches from potential acquirors. As the economic climate for print continued to worsen for Time, Meredith got back in contact in 2017. The smaller company eventually secured a deal to acquire Time Inc for $2.8bn in cash and debt. Meredith took the decision to sell off titles that didn't fit with its mainly female-led US audience. The UK division was sold off in 2018 to private equity; Time itself to tech billionaire Marc Benioff later the same year. A buyer is still sought for Sports Illustrated and Fortune. The break-up marked a sad end to what was once a giant of the industry. Founded in 1922 by journalists Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, Time magazine is still one of the world's best-known magazine brands. Fortune was created eight years later to give greater weight to Time's business coverage and after WWII the company moved into book publishing and eventually cable TV. Its investment in the Turner cable empire led to a mammoth merger with fellow shareholder Warner Bros in 1989. Subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
Capsule checked 21st September 2018
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Adbrands Account Assignments track account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. Adbrands Weekly Update is a weekly summary of the latest news affecting leading advertisers and their advertising and marketing agencies.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Sep 2018: Iconic news magazine Time has been acquired by Salesforce.com's founder Marc Benioff for $190m. It is perhaps the clearest demonstration to-date of the parlous state of the global magazine industry that one of its most revered brands has become a vanity purchase for a technology billionaire. Time will remain entirely separate from Salesforce.com, owned personally by Benioff and his wife; he says it will remain entirely independent editorially. "We're investing in a company with tremendous impact on the world, one that is also an incredibly strong business," said Benioff. The magazine is being sold by media group Meredith, which acquired larger rival Time Inc in 2017. It has kept Time Inc's mass-market and female oriented titles but is selling several others that don't fit as neatly into its existing portfolio. Sports Illustrated and Fortune are also seeking buyers. According to insiders, Time generated revenues of $173m in 2017, with operating profit of $33m. Revenue is forecast to decline by nearly 9% in 2018 to $158m, while operating income will be about the same. Meredith will continue to provide Time with services including marketing, subscription fulfilment, paper purchasing and printing. However several observers warned that the magazine will struggle to hold its own as a standalone title without the infrastructure provided by a larger stable of supporting titles.
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st May 2018: Meredith Corporation has received interest from as many as 80 potential bidders, according to Vanity Fair, for the quartet of Time Inc titles it has put up for sale: Time itself, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money. An offer of $300m for all four from National Enquirer publisher David Pecker was quickly declined. Indeed, Sports Illustrated alone is expected to go for more than $200m. An unnamed insider told Vanity Fair "We're all crossing our fingers for a benevolent billionaire. Everyone looks at The Washington Post under Jeff Bezos and is praying for the same." Meanwhile, Time's UK division - the one-time IPC Magazines - is to rebrand as TI Media in June, following its acquisition by private equity firm Epiris. It remains one of the leaders in the much diminished UK magazine market with a stable of around 40 titles including Marie Claire, Woman, Wallpaper and Country Life. "We are proud of all we have achieved as Time Inc UK over the last four years and, before that, as IPC Media over many years," said chief executive Marcus Rich. "While we wanted our new name to speak to that successful past – with the T of Time Inc and the I of IPC – we also wanted it to be adaptable to suit the ways we will evolve and look to extend that success under our new ownership."
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Mar 2018: The dismantling of what was until recently the world's biggest magazine publisher continues. Following on its acquisition of Time Inc, Meredith Corp officially put on the sales block another collection of that sadly diminished behemoth's flagship brands. We're not talking niche anymore. Buyers are now sought for Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Money and indeed Time itself. Hardly surprising considering those titles' poor fit with Meredith's existing housewife-friendly portfolio, but it rather makes you wonder what the point was of buying Time Inc in the first place. Just for People? Around 1,200 employees will also be looking for new jobs. Time Inc's UK division - the former IPC Magazines - and niche titles Sunset, Essence and Golf have already been sold to private equity. Buyers for the latest orphans are also likely to be private equity investors or wealthy individuals with an interest in a vanity purchase.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Mar 2018: Another nail was hammered into the coffin of the global magazine industry this week. Time Inc agreed the sale of its UK subsidiary, the former IPC Magazines, to London-based private equity firm Epiris. The sale of what was once Britain's mightiest "Ministry of Magazines" follows the purchase of Time's main US division by rival Meredith, which has no other operations in Britain. Time UK CEO Marcus Rich will continue to lead the business under Epiris's ownership. That firm has no other interests in the media sector. Its other UK investments include restaurant chain TGI Friday's, Hollywood Bowl bowling alleys and the online personalised gift service PhotoBox.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Feb 2018: Tom Harty, currently COO of US media group Meredith, was named as CEO designate of the soon to be completed merger of that group with larger rival Time. Current Meredith CEO Steve Lacy will move up to executive chairman of Meredith-Time Inc.
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