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Posts Tagged ‘Meredith’

Men’s Journal and Fitness Combine Forces

Wenner Media’s Men’s Journal and Meredith’s Fitness are sick of being underdogs to titles like Men’s Health and Shape, so they’re teaming up. Adweek reports that the titles have entered into a sales partnership that they hope will entice advertisers.

By combining the titles, the pair can tell companies that their ads will now be seen via a circulation of 2.2 million, a little below Men’s Health and Women’s Health (3.3 million), but a notch above Shape (2.15 million).

The deal was proposed by Eric Schwarzkopf, Fitness’ publisher. He called Men’s Journal’s publisher, Chris McLoughlin, and the two discussed the idea. “By the time he [Schwarzkopf] got done talking, I thought, ‘This is fantastic,’” McLoughlin told Adweek.

The duo also explored each other’s offices. While Schwarzkopf loved Wenner Media’s headquarters — “I could live in their building because I just love music,” he said — McLoughlin didn’t have much to say about his counterpart’s building. He called it “interesting” and explained, “They’ve got a lot of space over there.” You lose again, Meredith.

Meredith’s CEO: ‘There is Potential’ for Time Warner Deal

The Time Inc. and Meredith merger that everyone was talking about (okay maybe just media junkies, but everything we discuss is very important!) is dead, but Stephen Lacy, Meredith’s CEO, isn’t giving up completely.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Lacy answered questions about the deal. He even admitted that Meredith had “salivated over those businesses [Time Inc.'s lifestyle mags] forever.” Below are some other interesting/less gross things Lacy had to say.

On the possibility of still doing a deal with Time Warner or Time Inc.:

There is potential there. We’d love the opportunity as their spinoff transaction progresses to see if there is something we could do together downstream.

How the talks got started:

Read more

Time Inc. Staffers Confident in New Company That Has $500 Million in Debt

Now that Time Inc. staffers no longer have to worry about moving to Iowa to join Meredith, some are breathing a sigh of relief. The New York Times reports that several employees expressed confidence in the new, independent Time Inc. despite the fact that it will start off with between $500 million and $1 billion in debt. Now that’s optimism.

Rick Stengel, Time’s managing editor, was particularly upbeat. He told the Times the spinoff from Time Warner was exciting. “It’s sort of put up or shut up time,” he said. “I think great, let’s really test that hypothesis that people will pay for great content and great journalism. We can now invest our own capital.”

Other anonymous Time Inc. staffers expressed the same sentiments. One mentioned that a lot of people blamed Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, for Time Inc. faltering. “There was a real sense that Jeff didn’t have either interest in Time Inc. and magazine publishing and didn’t have faith in it as a business going forward,” a former, anonymous Time Inc. exec, told the Times. “His focus was always the film and TV side of the company.”

We imagine the next few years are going to be rough for Time Inc., but in order to keep looking on the bright side, we think everything will work out.

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.

Read more

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 Leadership

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

Sharples had been with for the past six years.

“Stan has the ultimate combination of marketing savvy, digital prowess and e-commerce experience to lead 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 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?

Read more

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?”