"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."
But don't count out the possibility that Time Inc. will team with Meredith or another company. "In the future, Time Inc. will explore possibilities with other publishers," Bewkes says. "But I'm not saying there's anything in the works with Meredith. " Bewkes made the comments at a keynote lunch at the Jefferies 2013 Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference at the Westin New York on May 7.