Laura Lang has been having meetings with her top lieutenants at Time Inc., presenting a business-as-usual face against a backdrop of merger talks with Meredith Corp. But outside the Time Life building, she’s fast fading from view.
Lang was scheduled to appear at the 4A’s Transformation Conference in New Orleans with Wenda Millard, president and COO of MediaLink.
On Feb. 22, a week after the merger talks came to light, the 4A’s had listed her as one of the event’s headliners. But last week, she dropped out.
The panel was titled "The Digital Transformation of the Magazine Industry."
“Given all the press speculation right now we didn't think it was appropriate,” a Time Inc. rep said.
A 4A’s rep chalked the change up to “a scheduling conflict” and said Susan Lyne, newly named CEO of AOL Brand Group, would fill the slot.
She also pulled out of a scheduled Paley Center talk just before press reports on the merger began surfacing, and even withdrew from a Time Life Alumni Society luncheon March 14 where she was scheduled to give a state of Time Inc. address.
Until now, Lang had been visible at industry conferences during her year as CEO, appearing at Advertising Week and Fortune events.
Neither Time Inc. or Meredith has publicly acknowledged they’re in negotiations, but it’s believed that the companies will split off their magazines to form a new, publicly traded company controlled by Meredith. It’s unclear what if any role Lang will have at the newly formed entity—much less in the industry’s digital transformation.