Following the decision earlier this year not to sell itself and continue a go it alone strategy, Time Inc had to make some cuts to save some cash and so the company eliminated 300 jobs across its global workforce according to CEO Rich Battista who spoke with WWD. The cuts are a mix of buyouts and straight up layoffs. Battista said there won’t be anymore staff cuts indicating the focus of cuts may now be shifting to some of the company’s “non core” brands which may be sold off, shuttered or partnered on with outside parties. In an email to Time Inc staff this morning Mr. Battista said:
“In our recent town hall meeting, I said one of the key components of our go-forward strategy is reengineering our cost structure to become more efficient and to reinvest resources in our growth areas as we position the company for long-term success. Today we took a difficult but necessary step in that plan as approximately 300 of our colleagues throughout Time Inc.’s global operation will be leaving the company. Some have been informed that their positions will be eliminated, while others have volunteered to accept buyout offers.”
The cuts aren’t a surprise because the company did announce that it was aiming to save $100 million in costs. Last month Time Inc hired feared consulting firm McKinsey & Co to help it identify areas where it could squeeze some savings from and clearly that process is in full swing. Time Inc’s IPC unit, its customer service center and editorial in New York were hit the hardest, IPC taking the brunt of it with 100 laid off. IPC may also be a potential candidate to be sold off. According to Media Ink some 50 people will be cut from editorial across magazines like People, Time, InStyle and Sports Illustrated. However with all these cuts to editorial Mr. Battista said the company is still committed to its print business which he says is still an important part of the company. How these layoffs will affect the remaining staff and structure remains to be seen. Time Inc finds itself in a position that many of its competitors aren’t in. Its a public company which means as CEO Rich Battista’s top job is to deliver value for Time Inc shareholders by any means necessary. This can sometimes drown out other things making it difficult for the company to make a dent in its effort to transform itself. This is something Edgar Bronfman, the man who kicked off the bidding process said last month during an interview on CNBC. He said that Time Inc is a magazine company begging to be a media company. Mr. Bronfman also said that because it’s a public company, Time Inc can’t tap into the huge opportunities that are present or make the kinds of investments and changes that are necessary to transform itself into a full media business.
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