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Huey Praises Time Inc. 'Junta'

Editor-in-chief says managers have more control over company now
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Time Inc. may not sell its digital editions on Amazon’s forthcoming tablet for a while, but it’s forging ahead with plans to roll out its magazines on other devices.

At its quarterly management meeting Sept. 27, executives announced that Real Simple would be the next Time Inc. magazine to launch on Barnes & Noble’s Nook, effective Oct. 8, with other titles being added throughout the rest of the year. (Time Inc. is the only one of the magazine giants that hasn’t agreed to Apple’s iPad subscription terms; in the case of Amazon, one sticking point is that the tech company has control over the publication price.)

John Huey, Time Inc.’s powerful editor-in-chief, was on hand for the meeting. He referred to the corporate upheaval of the past year, which saw CEO Jack Griffin ousted after less than six months on the job. Huey, along with CFO Howard Averill and general counsel Maurice Edelson, has been running the company while Time Warner searches for a new CEO of its magazine unit.

Huey was said to have received big laughs when he referred to the trio as the “junta."

After a “pretty eventful and unusual year” for Time Inc., he reportedly told the group, “We are smokin’ now, and we’re headed in a great direction.”

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has said publicly none of the trio is under consideration for the CEO job.

Huey expressed great satisfaction with how he and his cohorts have been running things so far, though, saying that the “junta” had set up the company to be in great shape for 2012.

“

In some ways you have more control over the direction of this company probably than you’ve ever had—because we all listen to you, then we listen to each other, then we make decisions, and then we move on,” one insider quoted him as saying.

Griffin came in as an outsider with a mandate to make broad changes, but his management style didn’t mesh with some, leading to a revolt by senior executives.