UPDATE TWO: It appears that Time Inc. is separating from Time Warner (similar to what Time Warner did with AOL in the early aughts), and the publishing arm will begin to operate entirely autonomously from its former parent company, Time Warner. Talks with Meredith (see below) have reportedly broken down. (Esquire)
UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal confirms Meredith Corporation, not Hearst, is in talks with Time, Inc.
Rumors are swirling today that mega media corp Time, Inc. is selling off multiple titles such as InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple, and possibly even People. That would leave the company with Sports Illustrated, Fortune, and Time. Most analysts are saying the titles, which have the circulation and brand recognition of an entire publishing house in and of themselves, will most likely be scooped up by either Hearst or Meredith Corporation, both of which own some of today's most succesful women's magazines.
A snarkier soul than us might note that the buzz is circulating on the internet, not in print magazines — the very reason why the industry is in such flux. But, it's important to note this doesn't necessarily mean any of these titles are going out of business. Rather, it suggests that Time, Inc.'s remaining publications are possibly in trouble. As The New York Times reports, buyers weren't interested in the more "sluggish" news titles.
So, it's still a rumor, but we're giving this extra cred as it was initially reported by Fortune, which is owned by Time, Inc. We've also heard that Condé Nast is in a bit of a tizzy over the prospect of one of its major competitors gaining this crucial middle American audience. Having put giant investments into digital as of late, the company isn't exactly in a position to be scooping up new print publications left and right.
Stay tuned for more news, and take it with a grain of salt for now. We'll keep you updated.
Photo: Courtesy of InStyle.