Time Inc. Spinoff Timing Delayed

Ad and subscription revenue down in 3Q

It looks like Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp will have some more time to prepare for the publisher’s spinoff from Time Warner. The split is now expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2014, Time Warner chairman Jeff Bewkes said during an earnings conference call.

When it was first announced in March, Time Warner said it was expected to take place at the end of 2013. Then in the summer, Bewkes extended the date to early 2014 after the Time Inc. CEO search had extended for months (Joe Ripp was named in August and started in September). 

Without elaborating on the reasons for the new timeframe, Bewkes said today Ripp was “making great progress” at the publishing unit and that he anticipated a Form 10 to be filed in the next few weeks, which is required to take a spinoff public. 

Third-quarter results for the publishing unit, meanwhile, underscore continued pressures facing magazine publishing's business model. Publishing revenue declined 2 percent to $818 million in the quarter, with declines in both of its mainstays, ad and subscription revenue.

Time Warner said consumer revenue declined 4 percent, as the company felt the brunt of lower newsstand revenues worldwide.

Digital revenue should continue to be a bright spot for publishing, but lower website revenues were cited as a reason for a 2 percent decline in ad revenue in the quarter. Further, Time Warner said the decrease would have been lower if not for People and Sports Illustrated having moved an issue from the fourth quarter into the third.

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