The axe is swinging again at Time Inc., where an internal memorandum from CEO Laura Lang warned employees that the company will be laying off
around 6% of its workforce, or roughly 480 out of 8,000 employees. Cuts will be spread across the company’s different divisions, including its overseas operations.
Lang wrote that the changes were necessary to "transform our company into one that is leaner, more nimble and more innately multiplatform. To make this change, we need to operate as smartly and efficiently as possible to create room for critical investments and new initiatives."
The last major wave of layoffs at Time Inc. came in fall 2008, when the magazine publisher cut 600 positions -- equal to about 6% of its workforce at the time -- generating about $150 million in savings.
In January 2007 the company laid off 289 staffers, including 170 editorial positions. Before
that, the company laid off 577 employees in 2006 and 105 employees in 2005. More recently, a smaller series of cuts was implemented in October 2009. Altogether from 2005 to the present, the company
has shed around 3,480 jobs, or 32% of its 2005 complement of 11,000 worldwide.
Like other big magazine publishers, Time Inc. has struggled to maintain profitability in the face of declining print circulation and advertising revenues. According to Time Warner’s third-quarter earnings results, in the first nine months of 2012, the publishing division saw revenues drop about 7% from $2.6 billion to $2.4 billion. That comes on the heels of a flat 2011 and a 1.4% decline in 2011. Overall, publishing revenues declined from nearly $5 billion in 2007 to $3.7 billion in 2011, and may have dipped to $3.4 billion in 2012, for a 31% decline over five years.