It’s been quite the year for Time Inc. Back in November 2016, they turned down an $18-a-share acquisition offer for the whole company from Edgar Bronfman Jr. and associated investors, and then explored acquisition offers from Bronfman and others, including women’s magazine publisher Meredith. At the end of April, Time Inc. turned down those acquisition offers and said it would keep the company whole, but now it looks like they’re considering selling part of it. As per Bloomberg’s Gerry Smith, Time Inc. is now looking at selling Golf, Sunset and Coastal Living:
Time Inc. is exploring a sale of Coastal Living, Sunset and Golf magazines as the struggling publisher concentrates on larger titles in its turnaround strategy, Chief Executive Officer Rich Battista said in an interview Tuesday.
Battista said in May the company would sell some smaller properties as it tried to push ahead with a digital strategy and move past months of talks with potential acquirers.
In the interview, Battista called the three publications “wonderful brands” but said Time needed to invest in other properties instead. The company also publishes People and Sports Illustrated.
“It’s really important to focus on the key biggest growth drivers of this company that will move the needle the most,” he said. “These are wonderful titles and wonderful brands. They’re just relatively smaller in our portfolio.”
Selling Golf in particular might be interesting for Time Inc.’s sports side, as the title has been grouped with Sports Illustrated for a long while and sees significant crossover with SI (with Golf writers covering golf tournaments for SI, digital pieces featuring those from both magazines, and so on). Golf also saw a new editor in chief back in late June with the retirement of David Clarke (after 12 years as EIC) and the promotion of David DeNunzio (previously the managing editor of Instruction, and the author of over 90 Golf cover stories). So, it’s definitely a time of transition for that title regardless of if a sale goes forward. As per the other properties here, Sunset is based in Oakland, CA, and has been around since 1898, focusing on West Coast lifestyle coverage, while Coastal Living is based in Birmingham, AL, has 10 issues a year and focuses on all U.S. coasts. It’s definitely notable that Time Inc. is now looking at selling some of those smaller titles (and publishers like Meredith might be interested in picking some up), and that they’re focusing on bigger brands like SI. We’ll see where this goes from here.