Rich Battista was just made the chief executive of Time Inc. He has been charged with creating a growth strategy out of a business anchored to magazines, the flagships of which are Time, Sports Illustrated and People. Most everyone agrees that the future for Time Inc. is digital.
Here’s my take. The weekly, bi-weekly (or is it semi-weekly) and monthly magazines should stop publishing and become digital. News is hourly and most of these properties need to have websites that reflect so. Magazines still have a place, but I’m afraid they are better as mementos and commemoratives. The Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue is one example. Think of these as pop-up magazines. They can also be created for more limited, targeted audiences. Also events. And as such will be better advertising vehicles. Time, for instance, might put together a print magazine on the state of space travel. These would offer an even more in-depth look than would be available in a weekly effort. As “keepables” these magazines aren’t as likely to offend conservationists. I see Time Inc. as having some print but it will be pop-up print.
Setting up this new organization will be like herding cats though. That’s the challenge. That’s why Mr. Battista is paid the big bucks.
Bold? Yes. Today? Yes’er.