Time magazine sold for $190 million to tech couple

Amazon’s Bezos on a 1999 Time cover

Meredith announced that it was selling Time magazine for $190 million in cash to Benioff, one of four co-founders of Salesforce, a cloud computing pioneer and an executive known for social activism.

Time magazine is changing hands once again, almost eight months after it was sold to United States media group Meredith Corporation.

Despite those reassurances, there will surely be some scrutiny about a Silicon Valley CEO taking over Time, a magazine that frequently covers subjects like technology's impact on society. "Mr. and Mrs. Benioff 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". "We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand", he added.

In another deal earlier this year, Tronc Inc sold the Los Angeles Times to billionaire investor Patrick Soon-Shiong in a US$500 million transaction, opening a new chapter for the 136-year-old newspaper.

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"Time has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation", Meredith CEO Tom Harty said. The Time deal is slated to close in the next 30 days. The couple is paying $190 million in cash for the 95-year-old newsmagazine, which now has 2 million subscribers (less than half of its peak circulation). "We know TIME will continue to succeed and is in good hands with the Benioffs".

"The Benioffs will hold TIME as a family investment", Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote in a memo to staffers.

Meredith bought Time magazine and the rest of Time Inc. last November.

The media conglomerate said it plans to use the money from the sale to pay down debt, with the goal of cutting its debt by $1 billion during the upcoming fiscal year. Meredith previously tried to acquire Time Inc.in 2013, but allegedly balked at bundling Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and other major titles into the deal. Time received interest from over 100 parties, Meredith says, and the other three publications are on the brink of being sold as well with deals expected to be announced in the "near future".

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