Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time Inc.Will Sell Pet Insurance To Offset Declining Circulation, Ads (TIME)

This is just sad.
But as mentioned back in 2009:
...Speaking of zeitgeist, last year when Time Magazine used Joe Rosenthal's iconic photo of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi on their cover of the 'Special Environment Issue', I had a few thoughts: 
1) These guys are really out of touch. 
2) These guys are really uncreative. 
For a media company, either of those facts would be a good reason to short the stock. Combining both in the same business made it a lock. I didn't say so though (I didn't put the picture on the blog either). Instead my comment was:...
Spinning the magazine out from the rest of the conglomerate was the smartest thing management could have done.

From the Financial Times:

Time Inc looks to sell services to 30m subscribers
Pet insurance and online videos among ideas to replace erosion in ads and circulation
Pets are people too, at least to the readers of People magazine. The celebrity weekly dedicates a section of its website and a Twitter feed to videos, photos and stories about animals, including regular segments with a vet who was once featured in its Sexiest Man Alive issue. 
For those truly devoted to their furry companions, People’s owner Time Inc could one day offer not just magazines, but health insurance for their pets — one of a number of services the publisher is looking at as it searches for a growth strategy that investors will find more compelling than the interest from bidders circling the 94-year-old publisher. 
“When you think about our 30m subscribers, we only sell them magazines today. If you think about the opportunity to sell other things to those customers, it’s substantial,” said Jen Wong, Time Inc’s chief operating officer....MUCH MORE
My distaste had gotten to the point that when I first saw this story last November:
How much are People, Time, Sports Illustrated and their corporate siblings worth?
Perhaps $1.8 billion, if you believe the recent report of a takeover offer by a group of billionaire investors....
My first though was a Simpsons episode:

– Rich Texan–  “Son, I represent a group of oil tycoons who make foolish purchases.  We already bought us a stained glass bathrobe and the world’s fattest racehorse.  Now we need your ice man.”
– Apu Nahasapeemapetilon –  “Oh, no, I could never sell him.  He’s like a frozen father to me.”
– Rich Texan– “How much for just the head?” 
Episode 195, Lisa, the Simpson

Not a lot of respect there.