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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Ripp’

A Ripp-Roaring Time Inc. Yarn

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.

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“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.”

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Jill Abramson Added to NYC Re/code Event

Right after Labor Day, former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson will make her first non-commencement-address stage appearance since being booted from the Grey Lady. As part of a Thursday September 4 Re/code Code/Media series event.

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From co-producer Peter Kafka’s note:

You may not be familiar with [Meredith] Valiando Rojas. But there’s a good chance your kids have been to one of her shows, or want to go: she’s the CEO of DigiTour, the Live Nation for the Web video generation, which puts on sold-out concerts featuring YouTube and Vine stars. And if that seems odd to you, that’s just fine with her: Ryan Seacrest and Conde Nast’s Advance Publications are already believers.

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Time Inc. Testing Higher Prices for People

Time Inc. has come up with a brilliant idea to increase revenue: Make rich people pay more for the pleasure of reading about other rich people.

According to The New York Post, the publisher is currently charging different prices for People — single copies of the glossy are more expensive in affluent cities and less expensive in other areas. The move comes on the heels of People raising its cover price to $4.99 — its first price hike in five years.

“Magazines are one of the few products that have one price nationally,” Time Inc.’s CEO, Joe Ripp, told the Post. “That makes no sense to me.”

We agree. Hopefully the wealthy readers of People somehow manage to cope with this dramatic change in their lives.

Time Inc. Posts Ad Revenue Increase, But Big Net Loss

timeinc_logo_2.25.10In Time Inc.’s first quarterly report since becoming an independent company, the publisher posted a three percent gain in ad revenue. That jump was mostly due to a 12 percent increase in digital ad revenue. The company was also helped by — believe it or not — print. Time Inc.’s acquisition of American Express Publishing, which included Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure and Departures, led to a year-over-year bump in ad dollars.

Despite this good news, the company posted a net loss of $32 million, compared to a $75 million profit last year. Which is probably why Joe Ripp, Time Inc’s CEO, used dreaded words such as “leaner” and “nimble” in his statement. Those words translated: layoffs are on their way.

“Time Inc. is undergoing a significant transformation as we extend our powerful brands across platforms, work to develop adjacent business opportunities, and move toward a leaner and more nimble operating culture,” said Ripp. “We had a solid second quarter, we are making real progress, and we are executing.”

Time Inc. Sells Mexican Publisher

Time__Inc_-logo-2ED06AA15C-seeklogo.com_Time Inc. has sold Grupo Expansión (GEx) — Mexico’s second-largest publisher — to Southern Cross Group, a private equity firm. Time Inc. had acquired GEx in 2005.

Joe Ripp, Time Inc’s CEO, said the company sold GEx because it didn’t fit in its plans. “Time Inc.’s prime focus today is on growing core assets in the U.S. and U.K.,” said Ripp, in a statement. “Therefore, we believe GEx will have better opportunity to maximize its value under the ownership of Southern Cross.”

GEx’s brans include Expansión, Elle, Obras, Manufactura, IDC, Quién, Elle Decoration, InStyle, Accént, Aire, Gran Plan, Quo, Chilango, Life & Style, Metros Cúbicos, Travel + Leisure, Revolution, CNNExpansión, Mediotiempo, ADNPolítico and CNNMéxico.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Time Inc. and Meredith Merger Rumor Returns

Now that Time Inc. is on its own, the rumor that the publishing house and Meredith Corporation will merge is popping up once again. According to The Street, Meredith might acquire Time Inc. as soon as next year:

Meredith could buy Time in the fourth quarter of 2015, Citi analyst Jason Bazinet predicted. The deal is not likely to occur before then because of the tax-free nature of the Tiime spin-off, the analyst believes. Time shareholders would probably receive $28 per share in a takeover and would have 40%-48% of Meredith’s equity following the deal.

The Time Inc./Meredith talks began last February. Despite plenty of discussions, the deal ultimately fell through when the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on the fate of TimeFortuneMoney and Sports Illustrated. 

Regardless of what the Citi analyst thinks, earlier this month Joe Ripp —Time Inc.’s CEO — was blunt about the idea of a Time Inc./Meredith combo. “I’ve had no conversations with Meredith and I have no plans to talk with [Meredith's CEO] Steve Lacey in the near future,” Ripp said at the time.

Media reporters please note that the phrase “near future” is open to wild and rampant speculation.

Joe Ripp Discusses Time Inc.’s Future

Now that Time Inc. is an independent company, its CEO — Joe Ripp — is going to have to expend some energy discussing what lies ahead. Those talks began with an interview with The New York Post. Ripp was quick to shoot down a couple items — the possibility that the publishing house might buy a big brand, and the chance that Time Inc. could (once again) consider merging with Meredith.

“There will be opportunities for acquisitions, but I don’t see a transformative acquisition in the near future,” Ripp said. He then added that the once-storied romance of Time Inc. and Meredith was completely dead. “I’ve had no conversations with Meredith and I have no plans to talk with [Meredith's CEO] Steve Lacey in the near future,” Ripp told the Post.

As for the rumors that a rash of layoffs are on their way, Ripp commented, “It’s not about downsizing, it’s about are we making the appropriate investments in our products.” Which is a great way of saying nothing at all.

[Image: Shutterstock/Debby Wong]

Joe Ripp Rings NYSE Opening Bell

Here’s Time Inc.’s CEO, Joe Ripp, ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange this morning. Have you ever watched one of these things? Here’s a quick breakdown: Everyone stands around as a bell is rung a few times, and then they clap and clap and clap. The end.

Time Inc. is now being traded as TIME. As of now, shares have dropped almost five percent, to $22.43. It’s going to be a long week.

Now Independent, Time Inc. to Cut 25 Percent of Editorial Costs

Time Inc. is officially its own company now, and with that, comes many questions. Is it smart to continue the print edition of Time? What about People? And if People — Time Inc.’s money maker — can’t produce, what hope do other titles have? Also, what about that $1.3 billion in debt? According to The New York Times, the publisher at least has an answer to that one — cutting editorial costs. By a lot.

Last week, Time Inc.’s execs met with editors and asked them to begin the process of cutting 25 percent of editorial spending. That means staffing cuts are coming by the bunches. “In almost every meeting with investors and employees, he [Time Inc.'s CEO Joe Ripp] reminds them that he is constantly reviewing staffing levels,” reported the Times. Hanging the hand of death over staffers is surely going to create a nice working environment.

Not that staffers are the only ones who are worried about the cuts. Ripp has told Time Inc. senior managers that it’s all on them to save their magazines. “I can’t fix it,” Ripp said, in meetings. “You have to figure out a way to fix it.” That, of course, brings up one more question — how do you make repairs with a half-empty toolbox?

Time Inc. Buys Technology Company Cozi

Time Inc. will spin off from Time Warner this Friday, but before then, the publisher has a bit of news: It is buying Cozi, a Seattle-based tech company. Cozi creates digital organization products and apps for families. Its most popular product is the Cozi Family Organizer.

In an email to staffers notifying them of the purchase, Time Inc.’s CEO and executive vice president, Joe Ripp and Evelyn Webster, respectively, described the move as “a strategic fit on many levels.”

Because we know you’re wondering, here is Ripp and Webster on those levels:

First, its digital tools naturally align with the more than 53 million families we reach every month. We look at this as an attractive opportunity to combine content from our brands like Real Simple with these interactive tools and products, ultimately giving us a much deeper level of engagement with this important audience. We also believe that Cozi’s organizational products can be applied more widely across our portfolio of brands—imagine the possibilities if we offer travel buffs, sports enthusiasts, or food lovers tangible digital and mobile tools to organize their activities combined with deep, relevant content.

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