The magazine division of Time Warner is going to strike out on its own as an independent publicly traded company. Multimedia Meredith Corporation confirmed it had been in talks to acquire some TW’s titles but is not doing so at this time.
Meredith is know to readers of this space primarily as a television group, but most also are well aware that it is a very strong player in the female-oriented lifestyle segment of the magazine universe with titles such as Better Homes and Gardens.
Commenting on the situation, Meredith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen M. Lacy said, “At Time Warner’s initiation, we discussed combining our National Media Group with certain Time Inc. brands to create a new publicly traded company. There are natural synergies between our two portfolios; however, we respect Time Warner’s decision and certainly remain open to continuing a dialogue on how our companies might work together on future opportunities.”
Lacy continued, “Going forward, Meredith will continue to enhance shareholder value through ongoing execution of our successful Total Shareholder Return strategy and building on our company’s strong momentum. We are in an excellent financial position given the significant free cash flow our businesses generate and our low debt level. We will continue to focus on initiatives designed to maximize the value of our attractive national and local media and marketing services assets, including strategic acquisitions.”
According to CNN Money, the spin-off is expected to be completed by years end.
TW CEO Jeffrey Bewkes let the word out in the form of a memo to staff. He said, “Although change can be unsettling, I am confident that you have the fortitude
to stay focused on what Time Inc. does better than anyone: produce great journalism that your readers and audiences love.”
One employee who won’t be staying on is magazine division Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang, who exits after about a year saying she has no interest in overseeing a move into the publicly-traded sector.