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Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) is looking to divest itself of its magazine division according to an article that appeared in Bloomberg earlier today. According to the piece, a source familiar with the matter said that the media group is currently in talks with a buyer for the Magazine segment of its business.
The magazine division owned by Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) includes huge titles like Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, Spots Illustrated, and Life.
The deal would see Time Warner retain control of the titles, Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune, and would see the remaining titles rolled into a new entity and sold off.
All of these titles have suffered as print media declines in the modern era; however, some buyer obviously thinks the old format for still has some value. What a prospective buyer does with the division will be an interesting development, almost as interesting as the identity of a buyer willing to get involved in the magazine business in a big way.
The magazine division is one of the worst performing in the Time Warner empire, and many shareholders would be happy to rid themselves of it.
The magazine division isn’t in a temporary slump, it’s in a structural decline. Unless there are serious changes in the way the world operates in the coming months, the trend isn’t going to reverse itself. Advertisers are fleeing to formats with lower reach and lower unit cost while readers are simply not buying magazines any more. It’s sort of amazing that it’s lasted this long.
The purchaser of the magazine division is not, presumably, betting that the internet is a fad, they’re trying to buy a group of household brands at a budget price. Whether or not the eventual purchaser will be able to develop those brands better than Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) has will remain to be seen, as will the price paid for the basket of publications.
This story is another in a long line of the media group’s divestments that have accompanied the internet era. Some brands have simply not managed to translate to new media, and large owners have spent enough time trying to transform them.
Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) stock has increased by more than 10 percent since the start of 2013 though the firm’s stock was only up a fraction today on the news of the acquisition. The company’s recent earnings report was a positive one. That, along with the generally positive trends in the equity market have driven an increase in the company’s stock.