Why should those of us outside of print media care? I addressed this question in a related entries Decline of Print Media Sales and What Walks Out the Door (when great senior people are let go).
Time Inc. has 150 titles (as of September 2006) with a several up for sale at the moment. They are owned fully by Time Warner, Inc. Four of their magazines were on Adweek's "Hot List" in 2006: People (#1), Real Simple (#3), In Style (#7), and Cooking Light (#8).
Culled from the Time Warner website about Time Inc.:
- Time Inc. magazines are read 340 million times each month worldwide by 173 million adults over 18 years of age.
- Two out of every three U.S. adults read a Time Inc. publication every month.
- As of June 2006, Time Inc. earned 22.8% of all domestic magazine advertising spending.
- Time Inc. ended 2005 with three out of the top four magazines in both advertising revenues and pages.
- People remained the #1 magazine in advertising revenue for the 15th consecutive year.
- Seven of the top 25 magazines in advertising revenues in 2005 were Time Inc. titles.
The problems facing Time Inc. are the same problems facing the entire magazine industry and the broader media industry. All of these media outlets that were swallowed up by huge corporations are now expected to maintain a level of growth that is often beyond what is sustainable. Mere profitability is no longer enough. For a media conglomerate, a modest success is today's definition of failure.
So, here is how the lay offs broke down at Time Inc. today:
- 117 jobs from the business side
- 172 jobs from the editorial side (50% have been offered packages, 50% are just losing their jobs)
- Time Magazine closing bureaus in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago
- People Magazine closing bureaus in Washington, Miami, Austin, and Chicago
- 105 people laid off in December 2005
- 100 people laid off in February 2006
- 250 more in April 2006
- Closing Teen People in July 2006
- Pending sale of Time4 Media and Parenting Group assets up for sale in September 2006 (560 jobs)
- 27 people laid off in December 2006
- Sale of Progressive Farmer Magazine
A large part of this reorganization was designed to curry favor with Wall Street. At the time I am writing this (3:16pm on 1/18/07), Time Warner's stock, (TWX), is trading at $22.98 which is:
- Today's Open: $22.89 -- up $0.09 (~0.4%)
- Seven Days Ago: $22.50 -- up $0.48 (~2.0%)
- One Month Ago: $21.50 -- up $1.48 (~6.4%)
- One Year Ago: $17.00 -- up $5.98 (~26%)
- Today's High: $23.03
- Highest Point in Four Years: Today $23.03