There are more than a half-dozen standout quotes in the dog-days-of-print examination by Gabriel Sherman in this week’s New York magazine. Two of the zingers belong to Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp and, in both cases, connect the company’s august history with the disruptive challenges currently being sorted through.
“If you have a church and nobody shows up, it doesn’t work so well,” Ripp tells Sherman at one point, referring to the appointment of Norm Pearlstine as chief content officer and a new reporting structure that has removed the wall between church (editorial) and state (advertising). Later on, when the specter of company co-founder Henry Luce is brought up, Ripp has this to say:
“You know the great thing about Henry Luce? He didn’t have to worry about what Henry Luce would have done. He wasn’t held to his past.”
Indeed. Ripp, 62, and Pearlstine, 71, are being held to the future; the future of print, the future of a spun-off and debt-loaded Time Inc. On the plus side, per Sherman, employees can now make use of a nifty new App designed by CFO Colin Bidwell and take comfort in the fact that, at least for now, one of Time Inc.’s marquee titles will not be shifting to a bi-weekly print schedule.