Time Inc. Cuts 300 Jobs as Struggling Publisher Seeks Turnaround

Time Inc. is eliminating 300 employees through layoffs or buyouts as the struggling publisher tries to transform its declining print business for the digital age.

The job cuts were announced in an internal memo written by Chief Executive Officer Rich Battista, who said a key component of his turnaround strategy is making the company more efficient and re-investing those resources in growth areas.

“Today we took a difficult but necessary step in that plan,” Battista said in the memo obtained by Bloomberg.

Battista did not specify the areas of the company that will see the cuts, which amount to 4 percent of Time’s total workforce. Before the reduction, Time had about 7,450 employees globally, according to its latest annual report.

Last month, the owner of Sports Illustrated and People announced it is planning to sell some magazines or other properties as it tries to push ahead with a digital strategy and move past months of talks with potential acquirers.

In April, Time announced that it was sticking with its online strategy rather than selling itself after months of negotiations with potential suitors like Meredith Corp. and a group that included Pamplona Capital Management and Jahm Najafi. New York-based Time was said to be holding out for more than $20 a share. The stock rose 0.5 percent to $13.975 on Tuesday.

Like other magazine publishers, Time is struggling to reinvent itself as print advertising dries up and the lion’s share of digital advertising dollars goes to Facebook Inc. and Google.

The magazine owner has spent months restructuring its business and replacing senior management, hoping to persuade advertisers to pour money into its magazine titles. Later this year, Time plans to introduce a Sports Illustrated online video service with documentaries and insights from the magazine’s reporters, part of its growing push into video.

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