Yesterday Jeffrey L. Bewkes, chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, announced that the company was spinning off its magazine division.
“After a thorough review of options, we believe that a separation will better position both Time Warner and Time Inc.,” Mr. Bewkes told the New York Times’ Amy Chozick. “Time Inc. will also benefit from the flexibility and focus of being a stand-alone company.”
Why Does Time Want Out of the Magazine Business?
Every year the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) releases data on the state of the industry — number of overall ad pages sold, the top 50 magazine advertisers, overall revenue figures broken down by consumer category, etc. The 2012 numbers were released last month, showing that billions are still spent on magazine ads. However, overall revenue slipped off the cliff in 2007 and is still in free-fall. (Economists refer the the 2010 plateau as a “dead cat bounce.”)
To put the last decade’s decline in perspective, this is what the previous 50 years looked like.
According to the MPA, number of ad pages sold and number of magazines in the marketplace are also falling.
For reference, here are the raw numbers: