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NOT FOR SALE: On a call with investors on Wednesday morning, a representative from BAML asked Time Warner Inc. chief executive officer Jeff Bewkes to answer the perennial question: Does he have plans to sell the company’s publishing division, Time Inc.? “We don’t feel the need — absolutely not — to change any of the asset mixes,” Bewkes said. “We feel that publishing is a very strong performer relative to its competitive set, and it’s undergoing a pretty interesting upside with the tablets coming along.”
Time Inc.’s operating income was up 26 percent, to $63 million, for the first quarter, while the division cut $15 million in expenses. The company maintained its leading share of the American print-advertising market in the first quarter — 21.2 percent, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Subscription revenue for the print magazines dropped by $17 million, while other revenues grew by $13 million.
Bewkes didn’t say anything on the call about Jack Griffin, the Time Inc. ceo he hired, then fired, or the search for Griffin’s successor, who is scheduled to be named at the end of this summer. In the meantime, Time Inc. editor in chief John Huey, general counsel Maurice Edelson and chief financial officer Howard Averill continue to steer the company. Averill’s name has been bounced around as an internal favorite. Outside the company, the Heidrick & Struggles International-led search will likely include Jack Haire, who logged 28 years with Time Warner Inc. as, among other things, the publisher of Time and president of the Fortune/Money Group, before leaving to accept a job as the president and ceo of Parade.
— ZEKE TURNER