- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 18, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Time Inc. is eliminating nearly 300 jobs as it continues to revamp its huge portfolio of magazines such as Time, People and Sports Illustrated in an effort to adapt as readers and advertisers move to the Internet.

The giant magazine publisher, which is part of the media conglomerate Time Warner Inc., announced to its staff yesterday that it was eliminating 289 jobs across the company, which affects about 150 magazines.

The cuts, which had been widely expected, would bring Time Inc.’s payroll down to about 11,000, Time Inc. spokeswoman Dawn Brides said. By division, 172 cuts would be from the editorial side of the magazines, while 117 cuts would come from the business side.

Time Inc.’s flagship magazine, Time, will close its bureaus in Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles. Time magazine spokeswoman Ali Zelenko said executives had asked for up to 31 volunteers for buyouts among union-covered personnel, but she declined to give a total number of job eliminations at the magazine.

People magazine is closing bureaus in Washington, Miami, Chicago and Austin, Texas, spokeswoman Sandi Shurgin said. The magazine is reorganizing its news-gathering process, she said, declining to elaborate.

“It’s horrendous,” said Barry Lipton, president of the Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents about 400 people at Time Inc. “It will forever change the character of Time and the quality of publications they will continue to put out.”

Like other magazine publishers, Time Inc. is trying to cope with rapid changes in consumer reading habits and advertising spending as more people get news and information online and have less time for traditional media.

For the nine-month period ending in September, Time Inc.’s profits fell 5.9 percent as revenue edged down 0.6 percent from a year ago.

Last year the magazine publisher closed the print version of Teen People but kept the associated Web site going, and this year Time magazine moved its publication date from Monday to Friday and redesigned its Web site in hopes of better meshing its print and online editions.

In a memo to employees, Ann Moore, the chief executive of Time Inc., said the layoffs were “part of a restructuring necessary to sustain our progress.”

She said Time Inc. had made headway online, developing many of its Web sites into “strong and popular brand vehicles, while others are relaunching new designs with fresher content.”

But she also said: “Progress brings change and we need to continue to evolve to meet the cost pressures and challenges presented by our rapidly shifting industry.”

Time Inc. is taking broader steps to restructure its business. It has already sold a book-publishing division and is seeking buyers for 18 of its smaller titles, including Field & Stream, Parenting and Popular Science.

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