Breaking: Time/Meredith Merger a No-Go
Well, that didn't last long. In a surprising turn of events, the proposed merger between Time Inc. and Meredith Corporation has fallen apart. In a memo to staff obtained by SPD today, Time Inc. CEO Jeff Bewkes announced that the magazine group will become an "independent, publicly-traded company."
The memo further states that, despite the rumors of Time, SI, Money, and Fortune not being part of the proposed deal with Meredith, "all of Time Inc.'s magazines will stay in the portfolio."
TIME INC. MEMOTo: Time Inc. ColleaguesFrom: Jeff BewkesSubject: Time Inc.'s Separation from Time WarnerI want to share with you the news that our Board of Directors has authorized us to proceed with a plan that will result in Time Inc. being an independent, publicly traded company.Time Inc. is a great and accomplished journalistic institution, the undisputed leader in its industry, and home to some of the best brands and most talented people in media. Under the proposed structure, none of that will change and all of Time Inc.'s magazines will stay in the portfolio. This decision comes after a thorough review of options that would position Time Inc. for the most attractive growth opportunities while also best serving the interests of Time Warner Inc. and our shareholders. As you know, Time Warner successfully completed similar separations in the past few years with Time Warner Cable and AOL. Both of those companies have thrived independently, and I anticipate the same for Time Inc.We expect to complete the spin before year-end, and management will share more details of what that means for the company and for you as soon as they are available. Laura has suggested to me that we find another CEO for the new public company, and I have agreed. She will however be staying on through this process and leading Time Inc. as it prepares to become a stand-alone company and helping me and Time Warner management on the CEO search. Laura has been a great partner who has given Time Inc. forward momentum over the past year, and I want to express my deep gratitude for her leadership.Although change can be unsettling, I am confident that you have the fortitude to stay focused on what Time Inc. does better than anyone: produce great journalism that your readers and audiences love. That great legacy will live on as Time Inc. embarks on this new journey as a publicly-traded company.