Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Time Inc. Braces for Layoffs This Week

newstandHere comes the news that Time Inc. employees have been dreading for months: Sources say the world’s largest magazine publisher is expected to begin a significant round of layoffs this week.

I don’t have more details about the coming cuts. But the Time Inc. employees I’ve spoken to seem to put great stock in Keith Kelly’s report from earlier this month, which predicted that up to 700 of the publisher’s 8,000 employees may go in this round.

If so, that will eclipse the company’s last big round of layoffs, in 2008, when former CEO Ann Moore cut about 600 jobs. Those layoffs, and subsequent cost-cuts, have allowed Time Inc. to stay profitable as the magazine industry contracts.

But the top line keeps dropping: In the third quarter of last year, Time Inc generated $840 million in revenue, down from $1.1 billion in 2008. Meanwhile, parent company Time Warner has continued to evolve into a cable TV conglomerate.

New CEO Laura Lang has been on the job for a year, and has pushed her company to look for new revenue streams, including digital deals; last year, she brokered an agreement to sell iPad subscriptions via Apple’s iTunes store.

No comment from Time Inc. or parent company Time Warner.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik