While addressing the 18 Time Inc. titles currently on the block during a panel entitled “Just What Business Are We In?” here at the American Magazine Conference, Time Inc. chief Ann Moore said overseeing the company’s magazines is “like having 149 children that need to go to college at the same time.”
By college, Moore meant “online,” and overseeing the brands traverse an often rickety, handmade rope bridge to Internet success is partly the reason Time Inc. put its Time 4 media and Parenting groups up for sale. “By the time I could et to all 149, [some of] those titles would be left behind.”
Moore said all 18 magazines are “profitable, most #1 in their categories” but not growing at a sustainable rate. Moore deflected the larger M&A rumors, saying “Time Inc. is not for sale.”
Co-panelist Steve Murphy, CEO of Rodale, cautioned publishers not to bite off more technology than they can chew: “We’re not a technology company.” Murphy added that the industry is “on thin ice, but we’re going to skate across it.”
Moore, who has overseen several rounds of job cuts at Time Inc., seemed to have a bit more optimistic view. “When I walk out of a meeting in [Time Warner CEO] Dick Parsons‘ office, I feel like we’re going to be the last man standing [online],” Moore said. “I don’t feel we’re getting our story out.”
Moore also blasted the media and bloggers for a lack of “fact checking,” allowing rumors to migrate “to the mainstream press.”
FishbowlNY will be blogging live this week from the American Magazine Conference — the annual pow-wow of high-powered magazine executives — at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Check back often for our extended coverage.
FishbowlNY’s AMC 2006 Coverage: