Time Inc. cuts about 500 staff, Time mag to lose 6

The Wall Street Journal | All Things Digital
“Today we are beginning the painful process of reducing our global staff of 8,000 by approximately six percent,” Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang told employees in an email Wednesday. That’s nearly 500 employees.

With the significant and ongoing changes in our industry, we must continue to transform our company into one that is leaner, more nimble and more innately multi-platform. To make this change, we need to operate as smartly and efficiently as possible to create room for critical investments and new initiatives. These reductions are part of this important transformation process.


A memo from Time magazine Managing Editor Rick Stengel told staffers “the magazine was looking for six volunteers to take buyout packages, and if that number isn’t reached by Feb. 13, the magazine would begin ‘involuntary layoffs,’ ” Keach Hagey and Jeffrey Trachtenberg report.

Time Inc., the magazine group unit of Time Warner Inc., TWX -0.10% struggled in the quarter ended Sept. 30, the most recent for which earnings have been released, losing ground in general revenue, subscription revenue and ad revenue. Most strikingly, operating profit at the group fell 38% to $262 million for the nine-month period on a 6.2% decline in revenue to $2.47 billion compared with the same period a year earlier.


After Newsweek announced plans to end its print edition, Stengel appeared on MSNBC and said, “We’ve done very well and we’ll continue to do well.” The print magazine is “the centerpiece of the brand,” Stengel said.

The layoffs will affect “every corner of the company, and most of its magazines,” Peter Kafka hears from sources.

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Here’s Lang’s full memo:

Today we are beginning the painful process of reducing our global staff of 8,000 by approximately six percent. I first want to thank the people who will be leaving us for their years of hard work and dedication to the company. They are so much more than Time Inc. employees. They are good friends and trusted colleagues with whom we have worked closely. Losing them is going to be very difficult for everyone. They come from all areas of Time Inc. across our locations – both domestic and international. I am grateful for their service and I know you join me in wishing each of them all the best.

With the significant and ongoing changes in our industry, we must continue to transform our company into one that is leaner, more nimble and more innately multi-platform. To make this change, we need to operate as smartly and efficiently as possible to create room for critical investments and new initiatives. These reductions are part of this important transformation process.

I know the coming days and weeks will be hard and I want to thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this period.

Laura

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