Time Inc. has been struggling in recent months, and now parent company Time Warner has announced it is spinning off the division entirely. In a statement today, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said that the decision had been reached after reviewing an assortment of options, and that the move — scheduled to be completed by the end of the year — will allow Time Warner to "focus entirely on our television networks and film and TV production businesses." Time Inc. is responsible for such publications as Time, People, and Sports Illustrated.
Roughly six percent of the Time Inc. workforce was laid off this past January, as its sales in the first nine months of 2012 dropped over six percent in comparison to the same time period in 2011. Reports indicated at that time that Time Warner was in talks with a then-unnamed entity that was interested in purchasing Time Inc. While no mention of such a deal was made in today's announcement, the Wall Street Journal reports that the company had been pursuing a deal that would have merged many of Time's magazine titles with those from Meredith Corp. under a new company's stewardship; the deal failed to come together.
"Time Inc. will also benefit from the flexibility and focus of being a stand-alone public company and will now be able to attract a more natural stockholder base," said Bewkes in Time Warner's statement. "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."