Time Can Wait: Magazine Spinoff Pushed Off Until 2014

One step forward, another step back. With a new CEO finally in place, Time Inc’s spinoff seemed to be gaining some momentum. It turned out to be short lived though as Time Warner (TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes announced during the most recent conference call that the spin would be pushed off until next year. The reason?

Our top priority in the spinoff is to make sure that we put Time Inc. in the best possible position to succeed. So rather than rush to complete the transaction this year, we’ve decided that it’s prudent to give Joe some time to further refine Time Inc.’s strategic direction and as a result, we now expect to complete the spinoff early next year.

The CEO search apparently took longer than expected after an earlier front runner declined and Joe Ripp, Time’s new CEO, won’t be officially starting until September. He certainly will need to figure something out for the struggling unit although not sure what a couple of months will do. Advertising and subscription income continued to decline in the most recent quarter, although the unit witnessed a jump in operating income due to ‘operational cost savings’ or firing people.

In the meantime, we can enjoy these TV ads for People magazine. Maybe Mr. Ripp will ‘refine’ this away…


Disclosure: Author is long shares of TWX