In what will be yet another media takedown by a technology tycoon, Meredith Corporation, owners of the “Time” magazine brand, have announced that they are selling the iconic magazine brand to Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff. Marc and his wife Lynne Benioff are buying the magazine for $190 Million in an all cash deal.
The Benioffs are purchasing TIME personally and the transaction is unrelated to Salesforce.com, where Mr. Benioff is Chairman, co-CEO and founder. Both Marc and Lynne will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions, which will continue to be led by TIME’s current executive leadership team. And as much as it is written in the official release that way, a complete non-interference seems highly unlikely.
Attempts to sell off TIME aren’t new though. Meredith Corporation had already announced in March, the company’s plans to sell off TIME, Sports Illustrated and Fortune to save $400-$500 Million in order to keep operations running for rest of its portfolio companies.
Talking about the deal, Meredith President and CEO Tom Harty said,
We’re pleased to have found such passionate buyers in Marc and Lynne Benioff for the TIME brand. For over 90 years, TIME has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation. We know TIME will continue to succeed and is in good hands with the Benioffs. We thank the TIME team for its ongoing hard work and passionate commitment.
What is notable here, is the fact that Meredith bought TIME and related brands from its original owners in January this year itself. However, things didn’t seem to have worked out, and the company is hence selling all of the TIME brands. Meredith expects to announce agreements for the remaining asset sales in the near future.