"Meredith is a good company," says Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) chairman Jeff Bewkes (pictured) about the Better Homes and Gardens publisher, which spent several months in talks to buy the Time Inc. publishing empire, which includes Time magazine, People and Sports Illustrated.

Ultimately, Time Warner opted to spin off its magazine division instead of selling to Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP). "We've known for some time that spinning off Time Inc. was the way to unlock its value, and we've had experience with spinoffs, like AOL. The question was whether or not Meredith could be involved.  But at this point in time, the complexity involved -- they own TV stations, and they're not in the news business -- was too great."

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