The dust won’t truly settle on the news that Time Inc. has been sold to Meredith Corp. for $1.85 billion in cash for some time yet, at least until we know what the owner of allrecipes and other lifestyle brands intends to do with Time Inc’s brands. The facts, as we know them, are that the deal will combine two radically different portfolios into a media giant capable of reaching, according to Meredith, a readership of 135 million with a paid circulation of nearly 60 million, as the culmination of a long-held desire from Meredith that saw failed bids earlier this year and in 2013.
In the meantime, there are plenty of unanswered questions about the acquisition, from what Meredith plans to leverage its expanded portfolio of brands to do to what it says about the state of the magazine industry.
For instance, can the Koch Brothers, who backed the deal to the tune of $650 million, really refrain from influencing the editorial and commercial direction of the new look Meredith Corp? The pair are known for their backwards views on climate change and workers’ rights, and some are worried that brands like Time, People and Fortune will be coloured by those beliefs. With just a hint of cynicism, tech reporter for the NYT Mike Isaac said:
@MikeIsaac November 27, 2017
Given all the talk lately about the power of media moguls – even if, as the speculation around 21st Century Fox suggests, that power is waning, it’s likely to be a concern for some time yet.
Another question is what Meredith intends to do with the brands