About ‘Time’: Billionaire Marc Benioff buys weekly news magazine

September 18, 2018

Time magazine is about to change hands for the second time since November 2017, when it was acquired from Time Warner by Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith—up until then, best-known for its flagship publication Better Homes & Gardens.

On September 16, Meredith announced that it had agreed to sell the Time media brand to Marc and Lynne Benioff for $190 million in cash. The Benioffs, who are the billionaire co-founders of Salesforce—a leading global customer relationship management platform—have said that they “will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions, which will continue to be led by Time’s current executive leadership team.”,

The husband-and-wife team now have become the latest tech titans to take the reins of an iconic media brand. Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, bought The Washington Post in 2013. Last year, Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, agreed to acquire a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine through her organization, Emerson Collective,  from David G. Bradley, who retained a minority stake.

“We’re pleased to have found such passionate buyers in Marc and Lynne Benioff for the Time brand,” said Meredith CEO Tom Harty, in the company’s formal release. “For over 90 years, Time has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation. We know Time will continue to succeed and is in good hands with the Benioffs. We thank the Time team for its ongoing hard work and passionate commitment.”

Meredith acquired TIME as part of its purchase of Time Inc., which closed

“We are honored to be the caretakers of one of the world’s most important media companies and iconic brands,” said the Benioffs. “Time has always been a trusted reflection of the state of the world, and reminds us that business is one of the greatest platforms for change.”

“On behalf of the entire Time team, we are very excited to begin this next chapter in our history,” said Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal. “We can’t imagine better stewards for Time than Marc and Lynne Benioff. The team is inspired by their commitment to high-quality journalism and by their confidence in the work we have done to transform and expand the brand in new directions.”

As part of the transaction, Meredith will provide short-term business continuity services and has entered into a multi-year agreement with the Benioffs to provide services such as consumer marketing, subscription fulfillment, paper purchasing, and printing. Meredith will also be able to include the Time brand in large corporate advertising buys.

Research contact: Art.Slusark@meredith.com

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