Time Inc. To Share Digital Initiatives with the Press on a Quarterly Basis
Time Inc. certainly doesn’t need anymore publicity. Between layoffs, divestments and its digital media-focused restructuring efforts, the magazine publisher has received its fair share of press in recent months.
Even so, the company is gearing up to share its ongoing digital initiatives with the media on a quarterly basis, a spokeswoman said this week. "The first session will be held in March," said spokeswoman Dawn Bridges, "and it will be open to all. Trade, business and tech reporters will all be invited to attend."
The effort is meant to educate both consumers and other publishers. "If you add up the digital assets of other consumer publishers, Time still comes out ahead because we’re so much bigger," Bridges said. "The (Magazine Publisher of America) does a good job educating the industry on the latest in digital, but we really thought who better to take the lead in this than Time."
Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore, speaking at Software Information Industry of America conference, said the company has plans for several new digital initiatives this year, including a potential partnership between Google and Life magazine that would involve Life’s extensive photo archives. The company also plans to make its People and Real Simple Web sites more robust. After her speech, Moore told Newsweek the company is mulling over the possibility of launching a health-related Web portal.
Venerable newsweekly, Time magazine, which struggled last year with falling newsstand sales and advertising revenues, relaunched its Web site in early January to include 24/7 news coverage, more interactive features and access to a free archive of stories and covers dating back to 1923. Bridges said the company will be looking for ways to monetize the extensive archives of all its magazines in the future.
The company said today that its Sports Illustrated Group has signed an agreement to acquire the Web site, FanNation.com from Sports Technologies Inc. FanNation.com is a Web destination that aggregates, filters and customizes sports information and allows users to generate content. Time Inc. also said it has acquired a minority interest in Sports Technologies, which develops Web 2.0 applications that include news aggregation, community capabilities and fantasy game engines.
Earnings Down Slightly
In related news, the publisher this week said its total revenue and operating income decline slightly in 2006, adding that decreases in its print revenues were partially offset by gains in online revenue.
Time Inc.’s total revenue in 2006 was $5.249 billion, a $29 million or 1 percent decrease over 2005’s $5.278 billion in revenue. Operating Income at Time Inc. declined 3 percent or $28 million to $1.1 billion, as slight increases in the company’s magazine business and lower stock compensation expense was offset by declines at Synapse, Time Inc.’s subscription marketing business.
The company chalked up the declines in total revenue to an $18 million loss in subscription revenues, a $14 million decline in content revenues and a $48 million decline in "other" revenues. The losses were partially offset by a 2 percent or $51 million increase in advertising revenues, with decreases in print advertising revenues offset by growth in online advertising revenues.
As part of its restructuring efforts, the company has laid off close to 900 employees over the past 14 months, including 289 employees this month. It also sold off 18 magazines in its Time4Media and Parenting groups last week to Swedish publisher Bonnier in an effort to focus its attention on its core publishing holdings such as People, Sports Illustrated and Time.
Time Inc. Earning Results
Fourth Quarter 2006 (millions)
Fourth Quarter 2005
Full Year 2006 (millions)
Full Year 2006
Adjusted Operating Income