NEW YORK, November 26, 2017 — The Koch Bros are providing funding for the proposed Meredith Corp. purchase of Time Inc. The nearly $3 billion cash deal includes Time, Inc. publications Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated.
The Des Moines, Iowa-based media conglomerate had previously held talks to buy Time. But those talks fell through, both in 2015 and earlier this year.
Koch Bros offers Meredith $650 million in equity
The Koch Bros’ KED has offered Meredith $650 million in equity to help fund the acquisition. The Kochs are known for their advocacy of conservative policies and influence on some quarters of the Republican Party. Unlike Democrats like Harry Reid and the MSM, however, the Kochs do not limit their investments solely to conservative enterprises.
It is unknown what affect the Koch Bros’ participation might have on Time’s strongly left-leaning stable of publications. Few readers today are aware that Time was founded and owned by the staunchly conservative Luce family throughout most of the 20th century. But the Meredith Corp. has said the Koch Bros will not have a seat on the Time, Inc. board of directors. Purportedly, the brothers will have no influence on editorial or managerial operations, either.
Meredith and Time will have a readership of 135 million people and a print circulation of nearly 60 million.
“Acquiring the legendary magazine business gives Meredith control of dozens of other big titles such as People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Entertainment Weekly. Meredith already publishes several top magazines, including Parents, Shape and Better Homes & Gardens.”
The agreement will likely expand Meredith’s influence on millennials as well. That’s because the acquisition, at least in part, focuses more on the digital media business as opposed to Time’s flailing print offerings.
Time and Meredith: a publishing juggernaut
Time is currently America’s largest magazine publisher. But the company has struggled amid a massive corporate restructuring and a precipitous decline in print revenue. In June, Time laid off 300 employees in a bid to grow its digital properties. Time management reasoned that the move would be a viable way to replace and perhaps exceed revenue lost by the company’s rapidly failing print publications.
Adding Time Inc.’s services to its portfolio will give Meredith an even greater national scale than its current media brands. Meredith reasons this will help the firm appeal to diverse advertisers on both the print and digital sides of the business. But the company will also have to adjust to printing weekly titles.
The deal is slated to close 2018. Following the sale of Time, company president Rich Battista will leave the organization. Time’s editor-in-chief will be its former digital editor, Edward Felsenthal.
The deal values Time at $2.8 billion. New York-based Time had struggled in an industry-wide decline in print media, as circulation shrinks and advertisers shift to digital platforms. As the industry continues to morph, several publishers have been consolidating.
That includes Rolling Stone, which has begun exploring the possibility of selling the left-wing oriented pop music magazine.
(Image compilation by http://www.rttnews.com/2837342/report-koch-brothers-backing-time-magazine-bid.aspx)