Time Inc. Continues To Downsize: Layoffs Hit Edit, Business Units

  • by January 31, 2006
The body count at Time Inc. is growing.

The company announced Monday that 66 employees were being dismissed--and that an additional, unspecified number of editorial guild employees were being offered voluntary buyout packages, and had to respond to the company's offer by February 13.

Monday's casualties were distributed across the board at several unidentified Time Inc., titles. They consisted of 40 business-side staffers and 26 non-guild editorial employees, according to a company spokeswoman.

The layoffs were in addition to the more than 100 firings--including several high-level, long-time workers--that came in the wake of a massive company restructuring announced in December by CEO Ann Moore. The new round of layoffs had been expected, but speculation as to how many employees would be affected varied considerably.

The spokeswoman said that, including the number of unspecified voluntary buyouts, the total number of people leaving the company would not exceed 100. She added that the layoffs were "not just about cost-cutting, but also about aligning with the new structure and investing in areas of higher growth."

The spokeswoman also sought to dispel rumors that more layoffs were imminent. "This is it for awhile," she said. "We don't expect anything else to happen in the foreseeable future." Earlier, unsubstantiated reports indicated that the number of dismissals could exceed 100.

The moves were engineered by recently appointed co-Chief Operating Officers John Squires and Nora McAniff, along with the company's editorial director John Huey. Squires and McAniff were named to their posts as part of the restructuring announced in December by Moore, who divided responsibilities for most of the company's brands between the two executives.

Under Moore's plan, McAniff was put in charge of the women's titles, including People, In Style, and Real Simple, while Squires was assigned to handle the male-oriented sports and enthusiast titles, as well as Fortune and Time. Since their appointments, the pair has made several moves to bring the different units in line with the reorganization.

Less than two weeks ago, they hired two executives from outside the company for high-level advertising roles (MediaDailyNews, January 19). In those moves, Leslie Picard was named senior VP of sales for Time Inc.'s corporate sales and marketing division, a new post in a newly restructured unit. She most recently held the title of VP-publisher of Conde Nast's Bon Appetit, but also worked for six years as VP of corporate sales.

Also, Thomas Beusse was named president of Time4 Media, which includes titles such as Golf Magazine, Field & Stream, Popular Science, Yachting, and SKI, as well as This Old House Ventures and Warren Miller Entertainment. Beusse was most recently the president of magazine publishing at Rodale, Inc.

The restructuring and subsequent layoffs are a result of the increasing pressure Time Inc. and other large magazine publishing companies are under to retain high profit margins during a particularly challenging period for the magazine industry. Some of Time Inc.'s titles are suffering declines in advertising and circulation, and the company is faced with a growing need to develop more effective synergies with its corporate parent.

In addition, the company also needs to increase the number of its digital offerings in order to more effectively compete with the growing popularity of online publications.

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