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Time Warner To Spin Off Publishing Arm

Posted 3/07/2013 6:00 am by

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The publishing industry is going through some serious changes these days, thanks in no small part to the rise of the Internet as a news delivery media.  For example, The Daily Beast/Newsweek merger is a strange idea, but the fact that an Internet company can buy a real publisher is mind boggling.  That’s only the beginning.  Time Inc, publishers of Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine, may be getting spun-off from parent company Time Warner after talks with publisher Merideth Inc. broke down.

“After a thorough review of options, we believe that a separation will better position both Time Warner and Time Inc.  A complete spin-off of Time Inc provides strategic clarity for Time Warner Inc, enabling us to focus entirely on our television networks and film and TV production businesses, and improves our growth profile.  Time Inc will also benefit from the flexibility and focus of being a standalone public company and will now be able to attract a more natural stockholder base.  As we saw with the prior spin-offs of Time Warner Cable and AOL, we expect the separation will create additional value for our stockholders,” said Time Warner CEO and Chairman Jeff Bewkes.

The Meredith deal was worth up to $1.75 billion to Time Warner, and that was without Time’s flagship publications:  Sports Illustrated, Time, Money, and Fortune.  The deal would have included some of Time’s IPC Media holdings in the UK, itself with a robust entertainment and lifestyle arm.  Now, it looks as if Time Warner might take a page from New Corp’s book and spin off the magazines into a separate company rather than sell them off.

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