Time Inc. is in the news this morning, having sealed a deal last night to sell itself to Meredith. Time publishes People, Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, Southern Living, Real Simple, Cooking Light, InStyle, Travel + Leisure, and more; Meredith publishes Better Homes and Garden, Family Circle, Martha Stewart Living, and Allrecipes, among others. Time is based in New York, and caters to somewhat more affluent audiences; Meredith is based in Des Moines and specializes in reaching Middle American women.
Early reports made much—probably too much—of the involvement of the Koch brothers private equity fund in financing the deal. The announcement yesterday made clear that the Kochs will be passive investors, and will not have a say in the management of the combined company or have a seat on the combined company’s board.
The merger reflects tough times in the media business, taking a toll on both companies, but particularly on Time Inc. The merger will allow for sizable cost saving synergies between the two. It also reflects the need for scale in digital media, where publishers have had to fight the giants—Facebook and Google—for advertising dollars.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter. Meredith hasn’t said what it plans to do with all of Time Inc.’s publications, but we are assuming the new owners will be quick to recognize the unmatched value of CEO Daily.
More news below, including one about a match which may garner even more attention than that of Meredith and Time.