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.