Business

Nov 28, 2017

Kochs fund Time takeover

US media reports say Meredith plans significant jobs cuts at Time Inc after the companies are combined as part of a cost-cutting plan reached with the Koch brothers.

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

The march of America's right-wing conservative mega-rich into the mainstream US media continues, with the multi-billionaire Koch brothers helping finance the US$2.8 billion takeover of Time Inc by rival magazine group Meredith, which is about to go straight into a second round. The Kochs will not have a seat on Meredith's board, but US media observers say their influence will be felt through their finance.

The Kochs join the likes of Rupert Murdoch (Fox News, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal) and the Sinclair broadcasting company's founding Smith family (Sinclair is the largest owner of local TV stations in the US). The merged Meredith-Time business will be the largest operator in magazines (but will be suffering a growing slump in sales and ad revenues) -- a media giant. News magazine Time will be the key asset to be sold as Meredith, in its two previous attempts to buy Time, has indicated it isn't interested in being an owner of the storied title. That opens the way for conservatives to bid, and with the Koch finance in place, a right-wing buyer seems logical.

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