Why the Time-Meredith Deal Never Made Sense

Photograph by Patti McConville

After weeks of negotiations, Meredith and Time Warner on Wednesday failed to reach an agreement on how to combine the bulk of their magazine titles into a single new company. Under the presumptive deal, Meredith would essentially have taken control of a new, publicly traded company comprised of its stable of national, service-journalism titles (including its flagship Better Homes and Gardens) and all of the Time Inc. publications, except for Sports Illustrated, Time, Money, and Fortune. Instead, Time Warner will go it alone, spinning off its magazines into a new, publicly traded company, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes announced Wednesday evening. “A complete spinoff of Time Inc. provides strategic clarity for Time Warner Inc., enabling us to focus entirely on our television networks and film and TV production businesses, and improves our growth profile,” Bewkes said in a statement.

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