Tribune to Sell Magazines to Time
Representatives from Time, the nation's largest magazine company and the publishing arm of media giant Time Warner Inc., said in reports that the move will allow the company to reach growing niche markets for such sports as motocross, snowboarding and surfing.
"This is an area that Sports Illustrated [a Time Inc. publication] has been intrigued by for a long time, and where it's hard to do start-ups," said Michael Klingensmith, president of Sports Illustrated, who orchestrated the deal. "We're broad and mass market, and they're very specific."
Tribune said that it wanted to sell the publications so it could focus on its main businesses of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, and television stations in major markets. The company said it will use the proceeds from the deal's sales, which are expected to top $2 billion after taxes, to eliminate debt from the Times Mirror acquisition. Tribune already has sold off an educational publisher and other businesses.
Jason Klein, president of Times Mirror Magazines, said he expects the company to continue operating independently.
According to reports, there were several other bidders for the magazine group, including The New York Times Co., which publishes four major golf magazines, including Golf Digest.