Mid-2014 Is Target for Time Warner to Spin-off Magazine Holdings

Monday, 30 Dec 2013 08:32 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Time-Warner, a $63 billion company that includes HBO, plans to spin-off within six months its family of magazines including money-makers People and InStyle, as well as Time and Sports Illustrated, The New York Times reported.

The magazines will be published by a new public company and take a different approach to the relationship between the newsroom and business side. Magazine editors will report to the respective business chiefs, according to the Times.

The spinoff will also enable the magazines, particularly Sports Illustrated, to robustly pursue independent video and television formats, corporate executives said.

After the spin-off, Time Warner officials say that they will not compromise on journalistic standards at Time magazine. For periodicals that are not primarily news oriented they will be freer to synergize editorial content with business priorities.

Time's former top editor Norman Pearlstine, age 71, will rejoin the company as chief content officer trying to ensure that corporate and editorial interests meld and also looking out to promote talent within the company.

But some writers are uneasy about allowing business to dictate content. Martha Nelson quit as Time inc. editor in chief because she found the idea of reporting to the business side troubling.

Of the magazines, People and InStyle are the company's big money makers and bring in almost $1.9 billion in yearly revenue.

Media journalist Frances Martel writing in Breitbart discounted the explanation that the spinoff was intended to make it easier for the magazines to pursue video and television saying that a more compelling explanation is the generally dire economic straits of print media.

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