Time’s Up

Ad Age: Time Inc. on Tuesday slashed 105 employees from its rolls, including some of its highest-ranking, most veteran publishing executives.
Richard Greenfield, an independent media analyst who follows Time Inc. parent Time Warner, called today’s developments very logical. “To scale down or to reduce your cost structure at a time when the revenue outlook is generally uncertain is the correct strategic move for Time Warner,” he said. “It also begs the question of whether they should be taking more aggressive structural action. Should the publishing business be separated?”
Billionaire financier Carl Icahn, who is aggressively lobbying to replace the Time Warner board, has made similar suggestions.
The move was part of another reorganization by Ann S. Moore, chairwoman-CEO, Time Inc., who last shuffled chairs in July, if not anywhere near so dramatically. Ms. Moore is under heavy pressure to keep Time Inc.’s earnings growing amid an uneven and hard-to-predict ad market.
In an internal staff memo today, Ms. Moore said Time Inc. will have another record year in 2005, with ad revenue up $100 million and total revenue up $225 million. “While we have challenges, we’re finishing a good year and there’s a lot to be proud of,” she said. An insider said Time Inc. will also, indeed, show earnings growth for the year.
The bloodletting was not entirely about costs; it also formed a smaller, more cohesive leadership group at the top that the company hopes will lead to more streamlined decision making.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.