And just like that, it’s over. Time Warner has ended talks with Meredith regarding merging Time Inc. with the Iowa-based company. As a result, Time Inc. will be spun off into a separate, publicly-traded company. The New York Times reports that the first casualty of the division is Laura Lang, who will leave once Time Inc. once the separation is complete.
Yesterday multiple reports emerged that the deal was almost dead. As much as we joked that the deal wouldn’t get done because of Iowa, that wasn’t the main sticking point. The merger fell through because Meredith didn’t want to take on Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money because they’re pretty much money pits and don’t fit well with Meredith’s brand. Understandable.
So the biggest media combo to be discussed in quite some time ends not with a roar, but a few boring statements. Stephen Lacy, CEO of Meredith: “We respect Time Warner’s decision and certainly remain open to continuing a dialogue on how our companies might work together on future opportunities.”
Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner: “After a thorough review of options, we believe that a separation will better position both Time Warner and Time Inc. Time Inc. will also benefit from the flexibility and focus of being a stand-alone company.”
And finally, below is Lang’s memo to Time Inc. staffers.