Time Magazine Sold


My real-life friend Matt told me once that when you have three of anything, it counts as a collection. So with that definition in mind, we see west-coast, technology billionaires collecting old paper media:

  • Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post.
  • Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective bought a majority stake in The Atlantic.
  • Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a biotech billionaire who is considered the richest man in L.A., bought the L.A. Times.

And we add to the collection that Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce.com) has just bought Time Magazine for $190 Ameros $190M* Ameros. In cash. (Hint to Marc: you could have bought a copy at the newsstand for less.)

Reliable Sources email thingie:

Well, [Benioff] calls the mag a “treasure trove of our history and culture.” In an emailto CNN’s Laurie Segall, he said “the power of Time has always been in its unique story telling of the people and issues that affect us all and connect us all.”

He added: “Lynne and I will take on no operational responsibility for Time, and look only to be the stewards of this historic and iconic brand.”

Despite those reassurances, there will surely be — and should be! — scrutiny about a Silicon Valley CEO taking over Time, a magazine that frequently covers subjects like tech’s impact on society. Salesforce has been mentioned more than 200 times by the mag, per my quick search of Time.com…

Brian Stelter posted the announcement from Time’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal, which gives the usual rah-rah next chapter in our fabled history

I have no idea what the end game is here for Benioff and the other billionaires, except maybe vanity or genuine altruism. I wonder if this is going to continue to be a trend.

* Thanks for the eagle eye, Jim!

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2 Responses to Time Magazine Sold

  1. I suspect in some cases it’s a little of both + plus the old adage “Freedom of the Press Belongs to the people who own one”


  2. Jim says:

    Time has always been a fairly shallow newsmagazine with a distinctly center-right POV. The investment of Laurene Jobs in The Atlantic is much more important. BTW, I assume you meant 190 million Ameros (unless an Amero is a million dollar unit of the currency). Otherwise, Benioff got an amazing bargain.


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