Saturday, October 14, 2017

Time Inc. Commits Suicide & Injures Book Publishing

Time Inc. announced this past week that it’s going out of business.

Okay, well, not quite so, but it took a big step in that direction.  It’s response to sagging readership and declining ad revenue was not creative, entrepreneurial, or savvy.  Instead, it said it would reduce its circulation and frequency of publication.  If a terrible decision with major ramifications for the print media industry, for journalism, for the book world, and for society.

Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and Fortune are amongst the magazines that will publish less often.  Time magazine will print only two million weekly copies instead of its current three million.

The result?

·         Fewer readers.
·         Less ad revenue.
·         Decreased influence on society.
·         Fewer media opportunities to promote books.

So why would Time do this?

Desperation drove them to make a move but it seems like their shrinkage is permanent and it will continue to decline as a result of its cost-cutting measures.  It’s killing itself.

Time needs to develop better partnerships, diversify its product line, make its magazines better, and do the opposite of what it is doing.  It should print more and distribute magazines to the uninitiated or those that used to be loyal readers.  Build up the circulation and you’ll warrant charging higher ad rates.  Get the site’s content to coincide with the print editions so that there’s relevancy to both online and printed content.

It’s hard to believe that Time Inc. was a bigger company when the U.S. population was a third smaller. The Internet shouldn’t replace print – there should be a way to partner together and for both to complement each other.

Book publishing needs print media to survive.  Magazines help promote books and keep journalism alive.  As magazines weaken, the slack is not being picked up by online media.

I know this is a new era, and change is inevitable and some of it is positive, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.  Society needs to support its magazines, as these publications offer us a check on businesses, government, and the powerful.  They offer legitimacy and trained, experienced, visionary writers.  They offer book reviews, author interviews, and publishing features.

Time needs to reconsider its suicide.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby  

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