Some of the most recognizable brands in the print business might soon have new owners if Time Warner moves ahead with discussions to sell off parts of its magazine company — the nation's largest — Time Inc.
According to Fortune — which is itself a Time Inc. title — executives from the company on Wednesday discussed a potential deal with representatives of the Meredith Corporation, the Iowa publisher that owns Ladies' Home Journal, Parents, and More, among other titles. While the talks are still in their infancy, a tentative sales plan would see Time Warner holding onto its three oldest titles (Time, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune), while letting go of InStyle, People, Real Simple, and the rest of its stable of glossies.
A spokesperson for Meredith told WWD, "It is our policy not to comment on marketplace rumors or speculation." How much the transaction is worth and whether it will actually go through remain to be seen.
Rumors of Time Warner selling off some of its magazines have surfaced before, but these seem especially credible in light of Time Inc.'s recent performance. Last month, in response to a decline in sales, subscription revenue, and advertising revenue in 2012, Time Inc. announced that it had plans to lay off six percent of its work force both domestically and internationally. As Time Warner continues to get smaller — the company sold off both Time Warner Cable and AOL in 2009 — selling off under-performing units might be seen as an attempt to insulate itself from trouble in the print industry.
Photo courtesy of InStyle.