Meredith Sells Time Magazine to Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff

The sale is expected to be completed within 30 days

Marc and Lynne Benioff purchased Time magazine. Getty Images
Headshot of Sara Jerde

About eight months after Meredith acquired Time Inc., the company announced it has secured new owners for Time magazine.

The title will go to Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, for $190 million in cash and is expected to close within 30 days, according to Meredith in a news release.

The sale is a personal one and is unrelated to Marc Benioff’s position as chairman and co-CEO. The couple will not be involved in daily or editorial operations and the title will continue to be run by current executives.

“We’re pleased to have found such passionate buyers in Marc and Lynne Benioff for the TIME brand,” said Meredith president and CEO Tom Harty, in a statement. “For over 90 years, TIME has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation. We know TIME will continue to succeed and is in good hands with the Benioffs. We thank the TIME team for its ongoing hard work and passionate commitment.”

Meredith put Time up for sale, along with Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated shortly after its acquisition of Time Inc. was finalized in January. The new owners of those other titles are expected to be announced shortly, according to the news release.

“We are honored to be the caretakers of one of the world’s most important media companies and iconic brands,” the Benioffs said in a statement provided in the news release. “TIME has always been a trusted reflection of the state of the world, and reminds us that business is one of the greatest platforms for change.”

As part of a multiyear agreement, Meredith will continue to offer services such as consumer marketing, subscription fulfillment as well as paper purchasing and printing. The title will also still be included in large corporate advertising purchases.

Meredith intends to use proceeds from the sale to pay down debt, which it plans to decrease by $1 billion during fiscal 2019.

“We can’t imagine better stewards for TIME than Marc and Lynne Benioff,” said Time editor in chief Edward Felsenthal in a statement. “The team is inspired by their commitment to high-quality journalism and by their confidence in the work we have done to transform and expand the brand in new directions.”

Time reaches more than 100 million print and digital readers every month, Meredith said.

The Benioffs told the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, that they were encouraged by the title’s audience and video investments. They said they didn’t plan on purchasing any other magazines from Meredith.

Meredith made headlines last week when it announced structural changes, including that it was consolidating some parts of the company, changing the print schedule on two of its magazines and was laying off about 200 people.

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.