A lot has been happening in the magazine media world lately and American Media Inc CEO David Pecker just keeps popping up in the middle of it all. Following his takeover of Us Weekly from Wenner Media and then his immediate takeover of Men’s Journal also from Wenner Media, Mr. Pecker’s name has been attached to every big story happening in the industry right now. Following his acquisition of Men’s Journal from Wenner, Mr. Pecker said that he would also aggressively try to get his hands on Rodale’s Men’s Health which is the biggest brand in the men’s wellness and lifestyle category. But Mr. Pecker’s name shot up to the top of almost every search result related to Time Inc this week after a new lengthy profile piece on NewYorker.com suggested he still has eyes on Time Inc and is even putting the necessary pieces in place to make a run at the publishing giant. Never mind that Time Inc is no longer on the sale block and is now focused on executing its strategy to cut costs and bulk up digital.
The New Yorker profile may have painted Mr. Pecker as a man with the means to make a viable run at Time Inc but as it turns out or as some suggest, Mr. Pecker is in no position to buy anything of that size, at least not on his own. He would need to bring on multiple partners or one deep pocketed partner to whip up an offer Time Inc’s board would be fools to reject. But the suggestion didn’t stop some current and former employees of Time Inc to worry about a possible takeover by tabloid king Pecker. One prominent former employee of Time Inc, Former Time magazine managing editor Rick Stengel tweeted a reply to the New Yorker story saying: “Time is a national trust and deserves a steward who believes in truth-telling and intellectual honesty. Time Inc can do better then this”. If it turns out that we’re all wrong about Mr. Pecker being able to make a sizeable offer for Time Inc, any deal will definitely meet the same resistance like Mr. Stengel’s and even louder. But again Time Inc is not currently for sale. However we should mention that when it received an unsolicited offer from an investment group lead by billionaire Edgar Bronfman, it wasn’t for sale at the time either.