Time Inc. Cuts Up to 30 Ad Jobs, As Suitors Line Up
Hardly a day goes by that Time Inc. isn't in the headlines these days.
The publisher announced Wednesday that it would be cutting about 30 jobs from advertising sales in its continued revamp of its sales structure and strategy. Time Inc. is going all in on a category selling approach that capitalizes on the publisher’s breadth of content in a variety of subject areas. The aim of the category approach is help marketers expand their reach across multiple brands. Instead of meeting with a sales rep from each publication they might advertise in, marketers can meet with salespeople that focuses on a broader topic like beauty or automotive.
Time Inc.’s current sales teams cover technology, telecommunications, automotive, food and beverage, beauty, retail, and financial services. The Wall Street Journal reports that the publisher will add five new category groups: fashion, entertainment, home, travel, and government/industry.
While the moves are aimed to align with the digital marketing objectives of big brands that want large-scale consumer reach, the slimming and trimming is also likely an attempt to be more appealing to potential suitors. Time Inc. announced in a board meeting last week that it will begin discussions with companies interested in purchasing all or some of its business.
The NY Post reported on Tuesday that Meredith remains the likely frontrunner to buy Time, but that the company could also team up with AMI to split weeklies and monthlies. In that scenario, AMI would acquire weeklies like Time, Sports Illustrated, and People, and Meredith would take on monthlies such as Real Simple and InStyle. For the time being, it looks like Hearst is on the sidelines, according to the Post's report.
The potential of AMI acquisitions of weekly titles would certainly present some issues for Time staffers. As reported in a NY Post article earlier this month, one former Time Inc. staffer believes his old colleagues' “heads will explode,” if the publisher is acquired by AMI. Owner of celebrity gossip magazines such as Star Magazine, National Enquirer, and OK!, AMI is not often associated with high quality journalism. In fact, the National Advertising Division (NAD) recently denounced a native ad placement in Star Magazine, which it claimed “blurs the line between advertising copy and editorial content.” The magazine has since ended this ad campaign, but only, AMI stated, because the contract ended and not due to the objections of NAD.
Denis Wilson is the content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.