Time Inc., the publisher of Time, Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, Life, and Southern Living amongst other magazines, may ask former Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) CEO Howard Stringer to join its board.
The spinoffs continue
By the end of June, Time Inc. will be spun off as a separate company as parent company Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) continues to separate its businesses that don’t focus on increasing the revenues of Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who took over in 2008 and recognizing that 70% of Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX)’s operating income came from its cable networks, nearly immediately spun off AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) and Time Warner Cable Inc. Now, following a breakdown in talks to merge Time Inc. with publisher Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP), Bewkes is intent on letting the magazine division go it alone.
Following the rest of the magazine industry, Time Inc.’s quarterly sales have fallen in 22 of the last 24 periods and revenue dropped 2.4% to $3.35 billion last year. Joe Ripp, who will be CEO of the publicly traded company, will begin with a company reeling from a decline in advertising sales, $1.4 billion in debt, a paltry $100 million in cash and a junk-level credit rating. Given this daunting task, Ripp has been reaching out to numerous executives offering board positions, as he also looks to organize the capital structure of the new entity while shuffling executives to meet its management needs.
Teri Everett, a spokeswoman for Time Inc., said the company doesn’t comment on speculation and Mr. Stringer did not respond to Bloomberg News‘ request for comment.
Howard Stringer’s experience with CBS and Sony
Stringer would bring four decades of media experience to the board. He joined CBS news in the 70s as a journalist and worked his way up to the presidency of the network in 1988. Perhaps Stringer’s biggest feat at CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) was convincing David Letterman to host the Late Show. Having been on the air for 33 years, Letterman recently announced that he would retire next year and today it was announced that Stephen Colbert would take over the desk of the Late Show.
Stringer left CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) and managed Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758)’s U.S. operations where he built up the company’s film and TV division before becoming the first non-Japanese CEO of Sony in 2005. Stringer presently sits on the board of Talktalk Telecom Group PLC (LON:TALK), and Teach for America.