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Travel Magazines

It's About Time (Inc.)
May 28, 2014
By , Managing Editor & Writer

“When you're finished changing, you're finished,” said Ben Franklin. “What’s dangerous is not to evolve,” declared Jeff Bezos. (One more: “Ch-ch-ch-changes,” sang David Bowie.) Motivational quotes about change are everywhere. And, if success is predicated on it, then Time Inc. looks poised for a good next few years.

At the end of last year, Time Inc. bought American Express’s entire publishing list, including Travel & Leisure, Departures, Food & Wine and Executive Travel (which it promptly closed – Executive Travel’s January 2014 issue was its last). Time Inc.’s decision to take over Am Ex titles was a long time in coming. For over two decades, the two giants had worked together with back-office systems, marketing and advertising. As Ed Kelly, President and Chief Executive of American Express Publishing, told the New York Times, “This 20-year courtship is finally being consummated in matrimony.”

This year continues to bring changes: In February, Time Inc. began full-scale restructuring, laying off nearly six percent of its global staff, in preparation for its split in June from parent company Time Warner. Through it all, they've been clear about their new path: going digital – aggressively. It’s about time, say many analysts, for one of the largest media companies in the world. Last week, Time Inc. made another bold move, “breaking industry taboo” by running ads, for the first time in its history, on the cover of its two most iconic titles, Time and Sports Illustrated. The company is also moving house: Time Inc. recently announced that it will be leaving its headquarters since 1959, the Time & Life Building on Sixth Avenue, and relocating next year to Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center) in lower Manhattan. From midtown to downtown? As anyone in New York knows, that may be the most radical change of all.