Amid Strife, Time Inc. Prepares to Go It Alone ; as Its Fortunes Dwindle, It Plans for Newsroom to Report to Business Staff

By Haughney, Christine | International New York Times, December 31, 2013 | Go to article overview

Amid Strife, Time Inc. Prepares to Go It Alone ; as Its Fortunes Dwindle, It Plans for Newsroom to Report to Business Staff


Haughney, Christine, International New York Times


Time Warner is joining other media conglomerates in pushing to compartmentalize their publishing units during a fragile time for the industry.

Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the United States, with properties like People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune, is preparing for one of the most pivotal periods in its 91-year history.

Within the next six months, its parent, the media conglomerate Time Warner, hopes to spin off Time Inc. into a separate public company. But if the plan succeeds, Time Inc. will become independent at a difficult moment. Not only do the magazine industry's fortunes continue to sag, but Time Inc. has also shown signs of instability. It has churned through three chief executives in the last three years and lost a star editor, its former editor in chief, Martha Nelson.

To combat these negative forces, Time Inc. will abandon the traditional separation between its newsroom and business sides, a move that has caused angst among its journalists. Now, the newsroom staffs at Time Inc.'s magazines will report to the business executives. Such a structure, once verboten at journalistic institutions, is seen as necessary to create revenue opportunities and stem the tide of declining subscription and advertising sales.

Overseeing these changes is Joseph A. Ripp, a former longtime Time Warner official who became Time Inc.'s chief executive in September. In an interview, Mr. Ripp said it was refreshing to shake things up. In recent months, he confirmed publicly that there would be additional layoffs in 2014. He has also expressed openness to initiatives, including expanding the company's television programming and conference businesses.

"Because we were part of a larger media conglomerate, our ability to expand outside of print magazines was always restricted," said Mr. Ripp, who explained that Time Warner's television and film businesses often hampered the magazines' ability to move into video.

Time Warner is not alone in separating ailing print assets from more profitable businesses. In 2014, Tribune Company will try to split its newspapers from its television and digital units. And this year, News Corporation cleaved its film and television businesses from its newspaper and publishing arms.

In going it alone, Time Inc. will return to its roots as a stand- alone company, which was co-founded in 1922 by the publisher Henry Luce. About a quarter-century ago, Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications. Today, Time Warner is a media and entertainment giant with a $63 billion market value and profitable assets likes HBO. But in recent years Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Time Warner's chief executive, has shrunk the company, discarding businesses like AOL and Time Warner Cable to concentrate on film and television.

Next on the spinoff block is Time Inc. To run the magazine business as a separate company, Mr. Bewkes hired Mr. Ripp. He assumed the post this summer from Laura Lang, who lasted only 15 months in the job. She had succeeded Jack Griffin, who was forced out after less than six months in 2011.

Mr. Ripp, 61, a former chief financial officer at Time Warner, said that while he moved to restructure Time Inc. and push it into new businesses, he recognized that the company's value was tied to its magazines' credibility.

But he draws a distinction between the journalistic standards applied to magazines like Time and those for lighter fare, like Cooking Light. Would it be an ethical breach for an executive on Time Inc.'s business side to suggest a certain type of cream cheese to be used in a frosting recipe? By Time Inc.'s old standards, it would be.

"We will never, ever, ever, violate our trust with consumers," Mr. Ripp said. "If you look at journalism at Time Inc., we have applied the concepts equally to covering budget deficits and food titles. Service journalism can be different."

To mediate any disputes and help the newsroom side maintain its independence, Mr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Amid Strife, Time Inc. Prepares to Go It Alone ; as Its Fortunes Dwindle, It Plans for Newsroom to Report to Business Staff
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.