Time Inc. CEO (Sort of) Addresses Sale Rumors

"It would not be surprising if third parties were to show interest in our company."

In his holiday note to staffers, Time Inc. CEO Rich Battista (kinda, sorta) addressed all the rumors—and facts—about the company selling and/or getting bids.

“We’ve all seen the continuing speculation around whether someone might try to do a deal with Time Inc., wrote Battista. “…I want you to know that I am aware and appreciate that the speculation can be a distraction—unfortunately, that is the world in which public companies live—and we shouldn’t be surprised if it continues. In addition, we all know that media loves to report on media—so as you can imagine, anything I say will likely be reported and invite more speculation—which is why not commenting is typically the prudent course.”

Hmm.. Is that “media loves to report on media” a dig? Probably! But, well, he’s right.

Below is Battista’s full note:

Dear Team,

We’ve all seen the continuing speculation around whether someone might try to do a deal with Time Inc. As you know, our brands and businesses are clearly some of the best known and most valuable in today’s media world – we have unique, coveted assets, have transformed into a multi-media company and have tremendous growth potential.

Given this, it would not be surprising if third parties were to show interest in our company. I want you to know that I am aware and appreciate that the speculation can be a distraction – unfortunately, that is the world in which public companies live – and we shouldn’t be surprised if it continues. In addition, we all know that media loves to report on media – so as you can imagine, anything I say will likely be reported and invite more speculation – which is why not commenting is typically the prudent course.

But here’s what I can say to you: the best thing everyone can do is to continue your first-rate work – creating great products and services – and focus on delivering on our promises to our consumers and advertisers and to each other.

We have exceptional talent here – you are among the best people in our industry – and because of you and who we are as a company, we continue attracting the best new talent every day. If we maintain our focus and the energy level that has successfully made our business what it is today, there’s no reason Time Inc. shouldn’t continue to be a great and exciting place to work for many years to come.

We have so much to look forward to in the year ahead – from enhancing our core businesses to developing new initiatives. I look forward to communicating more details about all of those efforts regularly in the weeks and months ahead.

In the meantime, I thank you again for your hard work and accomplishments and the resilience you’ve demonstrated this past year with its many changes. I am proud to work with each and every one of you as we build on our momentum in 2017 and continue our mission to again deliver a growth story at Time Inc.

Finally, whatever your plans or wherever you are headed this season, I wish you and your loved ones safe travels, great health and a happy new year.

Best,
Rich