Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Tech billionaire agrees to buy iconic Time Magazine

Russell Knight | 17 September, 2018, 09:57

Billionaire Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, are buying Time magazine from the Meredith Corporation for $190 million, the company said in a news release Sunday.

Mr Benioff, who has a net worth of US$6.5 billion, serves as the co-chief executive officer of Salesforce, but the deal is unrelated to the tech company, according to the statement.

In a statement, Meredith said the Benioffs "will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions".

The deal, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, comes nearly eight months after Meredith finalized its purchase of Time Inc.

Meredith, known for publications such as Better Homes & Gardens, acquired Time as part of its US$1.8 billion takeover of Time Inc.in January.

Meredith said Time reaches a combined audience of more than 100 million readers in print and online, with more than 50 million digital visitors and 40 million social followers each month.

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"Time has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation", Meredith CEO Tom Harty said.

Benioff recently told The Wall Street Journal that he and his wife were investing "in a company with tremendous impact on the world, one that is also an incredibly strong business".

The sale of Time is expected to close, however, negotiations will continue for the proposed sale of Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated. At the time, it was said the move could set up a succession plan for Benioff as he moved to be co-CEO as a result. "We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand", he added.

Time, like other magazines, has struggled with continued declines in print advertising and newsstand sales. The Washington Post was purchased by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2013 for $250 million.

Time was founded by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden in 1923.

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