Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world's leading media companies, with influential brands including People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple, Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly, Travel + Leisure, Cooking Light, Fortune and Food & Wine, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom, such as Decanter, Horse & Hound and Wallpaper*. Time Inc. is home to celebrated franchises and events, including the Fortune 500, Time 100, People’s Sexiest Man Alive, Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, the Essence Festival and the biennial Fortune Global Forum. Hundreds of thousands of people attend our live media events every year.
Time Inc. also provides content marketing, targeted local print and digital advertising programs, branded book publishing and marketing and support services, including subscription sales services for magazines and other products, retail distribution and marketing services and customer service and fulfillment services, for ourselves and third-party clients, including other magazine publishers.
TIME INC. THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
What do the Civil Rights Movement, Hurricane Katrina, the famous Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, World War II, the Women's Rights Movement, the 2008 economic collapse, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti have in common? Time Inc. journalists were there. Here is a look at how Time Inc. contributed and continues to shape history:
1922—Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, longtime friends and Yale classmates, wrote the prospectus for Time, The Weekly News-Magazine, and Time Inc. became incorporated on November 28.
1923—The first issue of Time, The Weekly News-Magazine, appeared on March 3, 1923 with “Uncle Joe” Cannon, the soon-to-retire Speaker of the House of Representatives, gracing the cover.
1929—The fledgling Time magazine made an offer that looked like a high-risk investment but would still be paying dividends decades later. For $60, readers could receive a perpetual subscription, transferable to their heirs and lasting “to the end of Time.” The price was three times what the average office worker made in a week (and was 12 times the $5 cost of an annual subscription). Still, 273 people liked the idea of Time for all time.
1930—Time Inc. introduced Fortune in February 1930, only three months after the worst stock market collapse in history. Undeterred, the prospectus for the magazine enthusiastically described “Modern Business” as “the greatest journalistic assignment in history.”
1936—Time Inc.’s new picture magazine was tentatively called The Picture Magazine or Dime, The Show Book of the World (as its cost was 10¢), but Time Inc. decided to acquire the 53-year-old humor magazine, LIFE, to repurpose its name. As a consequence, Time Inc. launched LIFE magazine on November 23, 1936.
1944—Although Time Inc.’s magazines were received by subscribers across the United States (and around the world), in the early years, the geographically dispersed subscribers did not all receive the magazine on the same day. A big step in bringing U.S. subscribers’ delivery dates in line was Time Inc.’s partnership with California’s Pacific Press, Inc., which began in 1944. Before that, East Coasters received Time on Friday, but delivery to those who lived on the West Coast had been delayed until the following Tuesday. With the Pacific Press partnership, Time transported two identical transparencies from production facilities in Chicago by plane (and a third, for safekeeping, by train) to the California printer. As a result, the publication was delivered to subscribers on both the East and West Coasts each Friday.
1954—Henry Luce was looking for a new challenge and saw an opportunity to capitalize on the sports leagues’ growing popularity while bringing together local fans. Sports Illustrated proved to be an immediate and overwhelming success, selling quickly off newsstands.
The popularity of the old weekly LIFE taxed not only the lower backs of postal workers but of U.S. mail trucks as well, including this one, which in 1954 was crippled by the weight of its 27,000-pound cargo of LIFE magazines, en route to Philadelphia.
1961—Time began offering advertisers the ability to target readers by U.S. region—Eastern, Central, Southern, and Western. These editions ran every fourth week and only full-page advertising was accepted. Given advertisers’ high level of interest in targeting local audiences and specific demographics, the frequency of these editions quickly picked up, and the page-size restrictions were dropped. More regions were added to the lineup, and metropolitan areas were shortly added as well: New York Metro in 1962, LA Metro in 1963, and Chicago Metro in 1965.
1965—David Brumbaugh joined Time Inc. in 1933 as the company’s first CPA, heading up the Accounting Department. He rose through many positions over his 37-year career at Time Inc., including Executive Vice President, Treasurer, member of the Board of Directors, and Finance Committee Chairman.
Although many of his contributions were important to the development of Time Inc. (such as the first long-term-planning operation and recommending the large-format page for LIFE magazine), he is best known for assisting the U.S. Post Office Department (later known as the USPS) in developing ZIP codes. As a consequence, Time Inc. staff referred to Brumbaugh during his career as “Mr. Zip.”
As the Director of the Magazine Publishing Association, Brumbaugh commonly worked with members of the Post Office Department through rate increases and the like. In addition, the Post Office Department was intimately familiar with Brumbaugh because of his 1956 congressional testimony in which he proved that the department was making a $1.4 million profit delivering LIFE (compared with the department’s claim that it was losing $8.6 million delivering the magazine).
In the 1950s, Brumbaugh made presentations to the Post Office Department to explain how Time Inc. was using a zoning system to speed the delivery of its magazines. Although the Post Office Department had instated zones in 1943, they were inconsistently applied. As cited in FYI, Time Inc.’s internal newsletter “‘Fewer than 40% of the cities were properly zoned,’ he recalls. ‘I went to the Post Office Department and showed them how we were making the zone system work.’”
It is believed that the Post Office Department incorporated Brumbaugh’s recommendations into the ZIP (Zoning Improvement Plan) code system that it rolled out in 1963. The U.S. Post Office honored these contributions by giving Time Inc. a Special Merit Award in 1965.
1974—When People was launched, it represented a new approach—applying Time Inc.’s journalistic rigor to personality reporting, a far cry from the era’s supermarket tabloids. People‘s premiere issue, published on March 4, 1974, featured Mia Farrow on the cover. As promised, it contained photos and blurbs that depicted a broad range of individuals in the public eye.
1985—Breaking a longstanding tradition of launching magazines, rather than purchasing existing ones, in March 1985 Time Inc. paid $480 million—a record purchase price at the time—for the Southern Progress Corp., publishers of Southern Living, one of the largest home-service magazines in the United States.
1987—With a well-run nearby airport; efficient and timely mail service; low occupancy costs; local and state tax incentives; a state-sponsored job training program; and well configured space options, Tampa, Florida, came out the winner for Time Inc.’s magazine fulfillment. The 30th Street Mail Processing Center was equipped to process more than 100 million pieces of mail annually for Time, Fortune, People, LIFE and Sports Illustrated, as well as American Family Publishers. The Mailing Services Center at Sabal Park housed mailing label production, renewal promotion addressing, a letter shop, and premium (gift) mailing. The first mailings from Tampa were Christmas subscription offers for People magazine, sent in August 1987.
Nearly thirty years later, the Tampa facilities occupy the original three buildings as well as one in Ocala, Florida. A fulfillment industry leader, TCS offers data processing, list management, direct mail, and other services for over 40 magazines published by Time Inc. and other publishers.
1990s—Time Inc. launched Entertainment Weekly in 1990, InStyle in 1994, Time for Kids in 1995, This Old House (in a joint effort with WGBH) in 1995, and People en Español in 1996.
1998—Time magazine co-founder Henry R. Luce was honored on the centennial of his birth with a U.S. postage stamp bearing his likeness.
2000—Time Inc. launches Real Simple, offering women help with their reality—over-scheduled, over-committed and over-worked lives. The concept behind Real Simple was just that—real simple.
2003—Time Inc. was the U.S. Postal Service’s largest customer in 2003, accounting for 1 of approximately 100 pieces of mail in the U.S.
2005—Time Inc. acquires the rest of Essence Communications, publisher of Essence magazine, adding the leading brand for African-American women to its portfolio.
2006—Where would Time Inc. be without subscriptions? Time Inc. has been offering subscriptions since the birth of Time magazine—even perpetual subscriptions. Although newsstand sales have always been a component of circulation, most of the magazines exist because of their loyal subscribers. Synapse Group, Inc., acquired by Time Inc. in 2006, plays a pivotal role in increasing subscriptions for its clients and is just one of the many ways Time Inc. reaches out to potential subscribers. Synapse uses magazines as a marketing tool to add value to customer relationships by promoting subscriptions through campaigns such as credit card bill inserts for companies like American Express or via direct mailings like consumer catalogs and frequent flier programs.
2015—Time Inc. mailed over 750 million copies of its magazines.