On Monday June 9 2014, the nation’s largest magazine publisher will begin trading as an independent company — stock symbol: TIME — with an uncertain future.
What was once a jewel in terms of profit and stature is now a drag on the share price of Time Warner, its parent company, and is being spun off with little ceremony and a load of debt. Absent the diversified portfolio of Time Warner, Time Inc. will be going it alone with more than 90 magazines and 45 websites in a market that views print as a thing of the past.
The new entity will start off with $1.3 billion in debt, including $600 million that will go toward a one-time cash dividend to Time Warner shareholders.
Though Time magazine is still profitable, big brand names like Fortune and Entertainment Weekly are not making large contributions. Worse, the celebrity category is down across the industry, hurting People magazine, which produces the bulk of Time Inc.’s profits. Newsstand sales, once a lucrative part of the People franchise, have dropped by almost half in the last five years.
Last week’s acquisition of Cozi, an organizer app for families that can be integrated into websites at properties like Real Simple, Food & Wine and Cooking Light
The new company will place a much bigger emphasis on video. It has backed 120 Sports, a video start-up that takes a mobile-first approach. People Now, a new entertainment show, and The Chat, from Fortune, will be part of the mix. A video hub called The Daily Cut will pull in content from the various Time Inc. brands