Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

More Time Inc. Cuts: InStyle, Web Exec, Plus–Reader Mail

Thanks to the MediaMemo readers who’ve been sending in tips, leads and generally useful information about what’s happening at Time Inc., the magazine arm of Time Warner (TWX). Thanks to you, I can report that:

  • “About 8-10 people” were let go yesterday from InStyle‘s editorial group.
  • Sara Jacobs, VP of Web Application Delivery, has been let go, a move one reader surmises is a “strategy…to gut the Internet unit and let the old magazine IT guys run the show.”

I also want to pass along the thoughts of a 20+ year Time Inc. veteran who says I’m a fool for surmising that CEO Ann Moore has cut down on reorg/layoff memos because of strategic concerns: “The real reason she doesn’t want to put any more of this stuff in writing is that when the rank & file read this stuff it makes us ill. The memos are of necessity tortourously long and nonsensical.”

Here’s the longer take from the Time Inc. vet, who, for obvious reasons, has asked to remain anonymous:

I could throw a rock from my office and hit 10 people with more good ideas on how to take Time Inc. into the digital age than Ann. The ‘reorg’ is classic Moore management. The problem was a too high cost structure, but it would be too embarrassing to her to just say that, so the whole thing has to be cloaked as a ‘strategic realignment of assets.’ The new structure is so complicated, with so many ‘dotted-line’ reporting structures that the new group publishers have no clue how things will work. Even more unbelievably, the new structure is based on the structure under which Fortune and Money have been operating for the past 2-3 years. It is an objective, easily quantified fact that that structure has been a failure (for starts, Chris Poleway, the executive who implemented it was fired). So naturally, we’re rolling it out to the rest of the company.”

Anyone else want to chime in? If you want to use your real name, go ahead and leave a comment below. If you’re (understandably) shy, go ahead and email me: I keep all correspondence anonymous: peter@allthingsd.com.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work