Time Warner In Talks To Sell Most Time Inc. Magazine Titles

UPDATE: Meredith, which publishes Ladies' Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens and More, is the suitor interested in Time Inc.'s titles, The Wall Street Journal confirmed later on Wednesday. It is in talks with Time Warner to buy the company's magazines, excluding Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated.

ORIGINAL STORY: Time Warner is in early talks to separate itself from its publishing arm Time Inc., Fortune reported on Wednesday.

A source familiar with the situation said that there is a serious buyer interested in a potential deal. The company has a meeting on Wednesday to discuss a possible sale, though — as Fortune noted — the talks are still in speculative stages.

One option, according to sources, is that Time Warner will sell most of its magazine titles as one independent company, while keeping Fortune, Sports Illustrated and Time magazine.

Time Inc. is currently the largest magazine company in the world. CEO Laura Lang announced 500 layoffs in January, with a reported goal of saving $100 million.

News of Time Inc.'s possible sale comes after Time Warner sold off AOL and Time Warner Cable in 2009. When asked in September if Time Inc. could be next on the chopping block, CFO John Martin would not rule out any possibilities. He said he was "disappointed" by the company's performance, but blamed the "difficult" conditions facing the magazine industry.

"I would say — and I think our past is an indicator of this, given what we’ve done with Time Warner Cable and AOL — is that our job is to figure out how to value maximize," he said.



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