Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore
I am only here for another three years. I am going to be known for transforming Time Inc. For diversifying Time Inc. And I am going to be the person who leads the transformation, to make sure we are around for another 80 years.”
As Chairman and CEO of Time Inc., Ann Moore has been responsible for modernizing the iconic magazine publisher amid an ugly downturn in print advertising revenue and increasingly acute competition from the Internet. But that’s no easy task.The publisher is still playing catch-up in the digital arena. And the struggle to translate the huge trove of Time content into influential digital products is one that may well take longer than the three years Moore posits.
- 8:40 a.m. PDT: Kara’s conversation with Ann Moore is prefaced with a short, but wacky, video featuring comedian Mario Cantone.
- Moore: What have I learned in the last year? You can make money with content online.
- What’s the lesson learned from the AOL-Time Warner marriage? You need a pre-nup.
- 8:45 a.m. Kara asks about Time Inc.’s digital strategy, or lack thereof. Moore bristles a bit. Suggests that she’s been fighting to develop a strategy for years, but ran into roadblocks, claims her plans to launch InStyle.com back in the day were shut down by AOL management. Notes that much of Time Inc.’s digital content at the time was kept behind a curtain.
- Moore: “I love the Internet. As a woman, nobody’s solved shopping for me online. There’s still a big niche waiting to be filled there, guys.” [My God, did she really just say that? I guess she did. Wow – you’ve come a long way baby.]
- 8:50 a.m. Business-side views on the integration of print and online: Kara wonders about the fate of People magazine in the era of Paris Hilton and TMZ.Kara: I don’t read People.Moore: Well, you should start. … I know the smaller gossip sites think they’re big and important, but seriously–get out of the way.
Moore notes that People.com is very sticky. She claims it gets 71 page views per visit–must be harder than I thought to locate those Pitt/Jolie baby photos online. (Somebody call Jakob Nielsen.)
- 8:55 a.m. Kara presses on: “You don’t worry about these upstart celebrity sites?”Moore: “They’re not hurting us in any way. I don’t fear cannibalization. You don’t want to be alone in the marketplace.”
- On the decline of print pages in magazines: People are still reading magazines; reading is alive and well. The instabilities are on the advertising side. She singles out the struggling business-magazine sector. Time’s solution: consolidate its business publications online at CNNmoney.com.
- 9 a.m. What does Time Inc. spend on news coverage in Iraq? A lot, Moore says. “But we have to. I’m just stunned that [journalists] are even willing to go there.”
- “We’re not breaking news” in the weekly Time magazine, Moore explains, but “we’re breaking it online. … It’s a very different experience to read Time magazine than it is to read Time online. Time magazine is long for journalism, a complement to what we’re offering online.”
- 9:05 a.m.: Moving on to recent cuts at Time: “We had to concentrate on our core franchise, so we divested about 1,000 people from our magazines.” Apparently, a few lawyers among them. As an example, Moore cites the silliness of having a puff piece in People lawyered as heavily as a hard-hitting piece in Time.
- Moore: “I think you’ll find the morale at Time now is better if you’re a writer.”
Kara: “Yeah, because you fired the editor.”
- 9:10 a.m. What do you make of user-generated content, social-news sites like Digg? Moore says “it’s cool stuff.”
- Kara asks about the size of the Real Simple audience, curious why anyone reads it. “I’m sorry to say this, but I used to call it Real Simple Minded.”
- On traffic deals: “I’m a content provider. I have to have my content everywhere. Look at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue: 500 million hits. You’ve got to be everywhere.”
- 9:15 a.m.: On the AOL deal: “We’re through the animosity, we’re though the anger. … Time hasn’t missed the boat, either. It’s not too late to leverage what we do well online.”
- 9:20 a.m. “People like print advertising. I just did some research. I took your print magazines away from you (gasp!). And you wanted them back.”
- To a remark questioning the rationale behind the recent hiring of certain writers, Moore had no qualms: “Just as long as we have as many people mad at us on both sides of the political spectrum.”