Despite months of swirling speculation over a potential acquisition of Time Inc., the company announced today that it will move forward with its own strategic plan.
The board of directors considered various bids over the last few months, including a $1.8 billion buyout offer from billionaire Edgar Bronfman Jr., and more recently, a bid from Meredith, which reportedly fell short of the board’s expectations.
In the announcement, the company described its strategic plan. On the revenue side, this includes a focus on digital audiences and revenues, particularly in branded content and video; brand extensions, including TV, OTT, events and licensing agreements; as well as data, targeting, and programmatic.
Time Inc. also states that the company will pursue “selective portfolio rationalization” and “continued aggressive reengineering of the cost structure of the company,” which sounds an awful lot like layoffs and restructuring.
"Time Inc. is a reinvigorated company uniquely positioned to succeed in the multi-platform media marketplace with an exceptional set of brands and assets, tremendous scale and significant untapped potential,” CEO Rich Battista said in a statement.
“The company is better positioned to capitalize on this potential with its recent shift from a siloed, legacy publishing structure, to an integrated, enterprise platform structure.”
The recent shift Battista mentions is the year of restructuring which saw a complete overhaul of the c-suite, as well as a reorganization of sales and editorial structures. Editorial properties now have more unified management across titles; sales at the publisher were reconstructed into category groups, rather than siloed sales by title. Downsizing has also plagued the publisher, with several rounds of layoffs hitting staffers this year.
Nonetheless, 2016 Q4 earnings were optimistic, with digital sales bringing total ad revenues up for the first time since the company spun off from Time Warner in 2014. First quarter results for 2017 will be released on May 10.