Time Inc. Cutting Back On Circulation, Frequency Of Big Titles Including SI
Time Inc. is "cutting back on the circulation and frequency of some of its biggest titles, part of a far-reaching cost-reduction and restructuring program meant to ensure the profitability of its core brands," according to Jeffrey Trachtenberg of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The publisher also is "reducing the print frequency of seven titles, including Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and Fortune." The move is based, in part, on its research "showing that consumers have less time for leaning back with magazines." Sports Illustrated "will publish 27 issues" in '18, including the Swimsuit edition, "down from 38 this year." In a bid to make it a "premium property for readers and marketers, the magazine will publish more editorial pages in each issue and print on heavier paper stock." SI Group Senior VP & Editorial Dir Chris Stone said, "The average issue will have 23% more editorial pages, which means we can be more immersive in our storytelling and more ambitious with our photography" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/11).
FIRST TO GO: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Eric Fisher notes Golf magazine and its digital counterpart "now stand at the forefront of Time Inc.'s effort to sell several of its portfolio titles." That sales effort is "ongoing with the aid of investment bank Houlihan Lokey, which assisted with Topgolf's purchase last year of online game World Golf Tour." But it "also arrives as the magazine and Golf.com are qualitatively and quantitatively at a high point." Recent internal and comScore metrics had Golf.com at "more than 3.3 million monthly unique visitors," up by 76% year over year. Time Inc. is "now focusing primarily on developing its core assets such as People and Time magazine." Stone said, "(Golf) needs some better brand focus." Sources said that initial bids for Golf were "due at the end of last month, and the title is being marketed to potential buyers including traditional publishers, private equity firms and other endemic golf entities." A resolution "could arrive by late November" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/9 issue).