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Posts Tagged ‘Meredith’

Time Warner Ends Talks with Meredith, Time Inc. to Spin Off

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.

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Time Inc. and Meredith Talks Stall Because No One Likes Iowa

Despite all the chatter about a merger, there are now reports that execs from Time Inc. and Meredith haven’t been able to come anywhere close to an agreement. In fact, there are no face-to-face meetings between the two sides planned for this week. One big problem is that Time Inc. and Meredith can’t decide what to do with Time, Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated.

Barry Lucas, an analyst at Gabelli & Company, told the New York Post that as more problems arise, the more he doubts a deal will happen. “There are a lot of things that work against a deal and the bigger the deal, the harder it is to get done,” he explained.

Lucas was being vague about the “things that work against a deal,” and sure, those four titles might be an issue, but let’s be honest, we know what’s happening here.

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Jeff Bewkes Plays Coy About Time Inc. and Meredith Talks

The media has been discussing the Time Inc. and Meredith merger for weeks now, but Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, is still dodging the issue.

Bloomberg reports that when Bewkes was asked about the combo, he replied, “The press is very active. Who knows if they know what they’re talking about.”

Allow us to answer that: You, Jeff Bewkes, are the person who knows if we know what we’re talking about. And the only reason we know anything is because a Time Inc. publication — Fortunereported it.

So there you go. The more you know.

Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

1. Cover Battle: Cosmopolitan or Vibe, February 21

2. Former Anchor Rob Morrison Faces ‘Very Serious Blow to His Career’: Legal Expert, February 21

3. A Truly Fantastic New York Times Obituary, February 26

4. Uncertainty Pervades Time Inc. as Meredith Talks Continue, February 22

5. (Poll): Lining Up Possible WCBS Morning Anchor Candidates, February 26

6. Ashley Morrison (above) Returns to WCBS as MoneyWatch Anchor, February 27

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign-up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

Meredith Makes Change to AllRecipes.com Leadership

Meredith has named Stan Pavlovsky senior vice president of Meredith National Media Group and president of Allrecipes.com. Pavlovsky is succeeding Lisa Sharples, who is leaving to pursue personal interests.

Sharples had been with Allrecipes.com for the past six years.

“Stan has the ultimate combination of marketing savvy, digital prowess and e-commerce experience to lead Allrecipes.com to the next level,” Liz Schimel, Meredith’s executive vice president and chief digital officer, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have him join our team. Additionally, we would like to thank Lisa Sharples for the incredible work she has done building Allrecipes.com into the powerhouse brand it is today. We wish her the very best in her next endeavor.”

Time Inc. and Meredith Staffers Probably Aren’t Going to Get Along

As the merger between Time Inc.’s magazines (save People TimeSI and Fortune) and Meredith’s titles continues to be fleshed out, one thing is becoming certain: For staffers, it’s going to be sort of awkward. There’s already been talk of Time Inc. employees annoyed at the idea of joining Meredith, and according to The New York Times, that animosity is going strong.

One anonymous Time Inc. executive said that the merger was demeaning to the Great Time Inc. Workforce; that it was “Like the Yankees’ farm team taking over the Yankees.” Others have “made cracks about Des Moines” and pretty much everyone said Meredith is cheap without actually saying it.

Then there’s the difference in office cultures. Time Inc. staffers are used to working late, while Meredith likes to schedule early morning meetings. And what of lunching habits?

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Uncertainty Pervades Time Inc. as Meredith Talks Continue

Laura Lang, CEO of Time Inc., has finally discussed the Meredith purchase with her staffers. As you know, Meredith is going to purchase Time Inc. and spin it off into a new company. Time Warner will retain Time, Fortune and SI. All the other brands will be swallowed up by the new Meredith/Time Inc. company.

Unsurprisingly, Lang hasn’t had much to offer to her Time Inc. colleagues, aside from general statements that won’t do any good. One insider told the New York Post that Lang was “telling people to keep doing what they are doing and not be distracted.”

We’re sure the publishing house’s staffers will find avoiding distractions easy. Especially with Meredith’s dealmakers back in the Time Inc. building on Wednesday and no one knowing anything about the new company, which some Time staffers have sadly begun calling “Teredith.”

To be fair, there’s really not much Lang could say to calm employees’ nerves. But maybe next time she could try a little something different, like “Don’t worry about anything. By the way, how do you feel about living in Iowa?”

Details Emerge on Meredith’s Time Inc. Purchase

The New York Times has shed some light on the inner workings of Meredith’s attempt to purchase most of Time Inc.’s magazines. If the deal goes through the titles, along with Meredith glossies, would go under a separate, new entity. That company would then “borrow money to pay a one-time dividend back to Time Warner, essentially turning what appears to be a corporate spinoff into a sale.” The pricetag? About $1.75 billion.

As has been repeatedly mentioned, Time Warner would keep Time, SI and Fortune. The reasons behind that vary. One source told the Times that Meredith simply doesn’t want those magazines because they’re a money pit. Another said that Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, wants to keep Time and the others because it’s better to just keep the magazines than to sell them at such a low price.

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Mystery Solved: Meredith is Trying to Buy Time Inc.

Well that didn’t take long. The mystery of who/what is trying to buy Time Inc. from Time Warner has been solved. According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s Meredith, which mostly publishes women-centric magazines. Above is a video tour of the company’s offices.

The deal is still for Time Warner to keep Time, SI and Fortune, so we still don’t know the solution to the other puzzling question: Why is Time Warner going to part with People, its most profitable title? But the fact that the buyer is Meredith does make things a little clearer. Meredith, knowing that its audience is mostly female, is probably insisting that this deal includes People.

That’s just a guess, but we’re sure as the days go by more details will emerge, so we’ll keep you posted. For now, we’re going to ask Professor Plum his thoughts on the mystery. Last we saw he was in the kitchen with a rope.

Carolyn Bekkedahl Joins Meredith

Meredith Corporation has named Carolyn Bekkedahl senior vice president/digital sales. Bekkedahl comes to Meredith from Gilt City, where she served as chief revenue officer. At Meredith, Bekkedahl will oversee digital sales for AllRecipes.com and the company’s Women’s Network.

“Carolyn is one of the most respected and talented leaders in the media industry,” said Dick Porter, president of media sales, for Meredith National Media Group. “Her unique background across all digital platforms and magazine media — combined with her passion for growing great brands — make her ideally suited to lead our digital sales team.”

Bekkedahl begins at Meredith in mid-September.

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