updated 12:47 pm EST, Thu March 7, 2013
Board-approved split to be completed by end of year
Time Warner is separating its publishing arm, Time Inc, from the rest of its business. The decision, announced via a statement from the Time Warner board of directors, will see that Time Inc will become an independent and publicly traded property by the end of this year, pending regulatory approval, with the company able to focus entirely on its television networks and film productions.
Time Inc, a media company that owns brands such as Time, People, Sports Illustrated, and the Fortune 500, is said by Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes to "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." Current Time Inc CEO Laura Lang will stay on at Time until a successor is found. "Laura indicated to me that we should find a different kind of CEO for this new public company, and I respect her decision," said Bewkes, before praising her work at the company.
While the future of Time Warner seems to be strong, owning a wealth of TV stations, the same can't be said for Time Inc. Newspapers and magazines have been slowly moving to a digital-only existence due to an ongoing decline in paper-based subscriptions and sales, and even then with mixed results. Newsweek published its last paper-based edition on December 31st 2012 in order to concentrate on web and app-based content, while News Corp's own digital-only publication The Daily was forced to close less than two years after launching. Time Inc could well find that it doesn't need to cull its paper-based products just yet, but without the safety net of a larger parent company, it leaves little room to maneuver if things go wrong.