Forget about the plan to have Meredith Corp. take over People and other lifestyle titles, with Time Warner keeping Time, Fortune, Money, and SI. Talks ended this week after the two companies could not decide on valuation or debt levels. The new plan has Time Warner spinning off its entire magazine group into a public company. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes says the spinoff allows the company to focus on the TV and film business. It sounds somewhat similar to the publishing division of News Corp. being split off into its own company this year, while allowing the Fox empire to operate independently. Makes sense, given the revenue declines in the print business. From Bloomberg:
The spinoff would rid Time Warner of its original business, ending its 90-year history in magazine publishing. Time Inc., which was founded by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden in 1922, became the foundation for Time Warner, one of the largest media companies in the world. After entering the television business, the company eventually acquired a controlling stake in movie studio Warner Communications in 1989 and became Time Warner the following year. Bewkes has a background in television, having started at Time Warner working at its HBO cable channel. After climbing the ranks to CEO of that division, he became chief operating officer of the parent company and then CEO.