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Time Inc. Said to Eliminate About 6% of Workforce

Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the U.S., is eliminating about 500 positions, or 6 percent of its workforce, as newsstand sales and advertising continue to decline.

The job cuts occurred across all divisions within Time Inc., Chief Executive Officer Laura Lang said in an e-mailed memo, obtained by Bloomberg News.

“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 multiplatform,” Lang said in the memo to employees. “These reductions are part of this important transformation process.”

Lang, who took the reins last year, has been working to merge print and Web advertising operations, aiming to reinvigorate what has become Time Warner Inc.’s worst-performing division. It has struggled to shift from print to the Internet, where advertising commands lower rates than with traditional magazine campaigns.

The division’s sales fell 6.2 percent to $2.47 billion in the first nine months of 2012 from the year-earlier period. The unit had 8,000 employees before the job cuts.

One of the challenges: Readers aren’t buying as many magazines at newsstands. Single-copy sales of People, the company’s most profitable title, fell 19 percent in the first half of 2012 from the year-earlier period, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. The company publishes 21 magazines in the U.S.

Peter Kafka of AllThingsD reported earlier today the number of people who would be eliminated.

The firings mirror job eliminations from late 2008, when the publisher cut around 600 positions worldwide.

Time Warner, based in New York, rose less than 1 percent to $50.14 at the close.

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