Time Inc. Getting Ready To Spin Off?

Today’s blind item speculation focuses on Time Inc. Is Time Warner getting ready to spin off the world’s leading magazine publisher into the deep dark world of corporate independence? Portfolio thinks so:

“It wasn’t a big enough loss for the market to care,” according to one who has been apprised of the thinking behind the deal. “I think they are scrubbing the quarterly numbers for the Time Inc. division, to get ready for a spin-out.” This is not the 1966 Elvis Presley racing flick but the act of splitting off of one division of a company as a separate entity. And this would not be a leveraged buy-out, our source tells us, or a private equity deal. But quite likely we are seeing a prelude to an IPO. Insiders also point to the recent restructuring over there, with the staff-reducing buyout packages that cleared the benches (though not necessarily the dead wood) from such venerable titles as Sports Illustrated and Time itself.

And, yes, they namedropped us in the article. We know. Read it anyway; it’s good and beyond the corporatese, the smoke signal reading there seems pretty accurate.