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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.


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:

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Time Inc.



And Luce and Haddin's prospectus for Time,


they said that they were not interested in


how much information they put between the covers,


but how much they got into the minds of their readers.


That has been in the DNA of Time Inc. from the very beginning.


Luce and Haddin instilled the idea that you could have an opinion.


And I think you're always going to have people


who disagree with you when you come down on one side or the other.


But anytime you can influence the national conversation I think it's important


I've spent a lot of time in the Time Archives over the years.


The fun thing is feeling like a colleague to all of those people who came before.


The technology has changed enormously, the climate has, the new environment has.


But in some basic way, we are all doing the same thing,


telling the stories that we think are most important,


most interesting, most surprising.


There's not a day that goes by that I don't learn something new


in these files about the history of this company.


For instance, Time has had an enormous influence on the English language.


We gave the world words like socialite, racketeer,


homophobia, op art, bobby socks, or televangelist.


We also introduced the term World War II.


Part of the genesis of our magazines was the desire


to inform the public what war was all about.


In 1969 Life published a picture of every single soldier who died during the week.


I think this really helped turn the tide


of public opinion against the war in Vietnam.


I grew up reading Time Magazine's journalism about Vietnam.


And I'm so when I went to Baghdad as Time's correspondent three,


I knew I was part of this legacy.


There was this continum going back 70 years.


There's a tendency these days to pretend like there's no war going on.


At Time our job is to make people pay attention


to things that may not be pleasant, may not make them feel good about themselves,


but are absolutely vital because these are wars


that are taking place in their name and they have to pay attention.


Henry Luce thought that the American public has the right


to see the wages of war, the meaning of war.


And I think that continued with the coverage of the Civil Rights Movement.


Time Inc. magazines had a well-deserved reputation for fairness,


objectivity, and all the rest.


In the civil rights struggle our objectivity slipped, thank God.


You couldn't be neutral in this.


This could not continue.


And Life Magazine photographs did more to bring


that incredibly significant change in the South


than any other medium in the country.


From the very beginning Briton Hadden had Time Magazine trying to cover every single lynching.


Life Magazine back in the 1950s did a groundbreaking expose of segregation.


The Sports Illustrated series in the 1960s,


The Black Athlete: A Shameful Story,


generated the largest amount of mail that the magazine had ever received.


I find the material in the archives endlessly fascinating.


This collection documents the 20th Century into the 21st.


But one of the fascinating things that I've come across in the archives,


certainly the Zapruder film is one.


I was chief of the LA bureau for Life.


Colleagues shouted it to me, Dick, Kennedy's been shot in Dallas.


We landed and our stringer said I heard that there


is a businessman who is out there in Dealey Plaza


with his home movie camera and he got the whole assassination.


I couldn't get anything but his name Abraham Zapruder.


I picked up the Dallas phone book.


Thank God it was a "Z".


I called and this tired voice answered and I said,


am I the first reporter to call you?


He said, yes.


I went to his office.


He said, all right come on in,


I'm about to show the film to two Secret Service agents.


So we went into this little room.


He beamed it up against the wall and the three of us,


two grizzled Secret Service agents and me,


we just went, "uhh".


It was the single most dramatic moment in my entire career.


And I thought, there is no way in hell that I'm going


to leave this man's office without that film.


There are very few days in American history where in one day


something happens that changes the way you look at the world and America's place in it.


The cliche as that you can have anyone where they were


the day they heard about the Kennedy assassination


and decades later they could still tell you.


The same was true of September 11.


There was a real question about, are we at war now?


And if so, with whom?


And what was that going to mean?


The greatest war photographer of our age is Jim Nachtwey.


And it happened that Jim was at home on September 11.


And so of course, he grabs his cameras and runs downtown


and takes pictures that are so extraordinary in capturing


both the heroism and the horrer of that day.


I think himself narrowly missed being burried


with a bunch of firemen as one of the buildings


came down and they hurled themselves into a doorway


as the debris comes over them.


Having someone like him photographing it,


really brought home to us, I think internally, oh,


the war is here now.


If Nachtwey is shooting it, then,


the war is now in lower Manhattan.


You know we presumptuously say that we write the first draft of history.


That was never more true than on that day.


I think the role of Time Inc.'s magazines is


to really explain society in the world to our readers.


The past couple of years there was so much going on


around them that affected their lives,


they were losing money in their stock market accounts, their 401Ks.


Economically the country was falling apart


people were losing their jobs and


I feel like we really rose to the occasion.


It's one thing to go in there cover the unfolding tragedy and then leave.


Very early on we decided that was not how we were going to do it.


We were going to remain focused on the story for a long time.


For the first time on a foreign assignment,


I was accompanied by a video editor.


We were editing on the fly, sending stories in,


putting them up on Time.com, and getting instant response from readers.


Again these are new kinds of commitments over


and above the the enormous commitment we've always given to big stories.


And the fact that we're able to do this


in a very difficult economic environment tells you


something about how serious we are.


Over the last 30 or 40 years our focus has broadened


so much to cover things that are more of interest to women.


In 1947 Life devoted 14 pages to the changing women's role.


It showed one week's work for a housewife.


It so clearly dispelled the comic myth


of the housewife sitting at home eating bon-bons.


This was a 100-hour work week.


In the summer of 1973, Andrew Heiskell


who was our chairman of the board sent a printed dummy


of People Magazine to Clare Booth Luce, Henry Luce's widow.


And it arrived just as she was heading over to the beauty palor


and it immediately caught the attention of her hairdresser and the manicurist.


And she wrote back transcribing the giddy back and fourth.


She said it was destined to be read in every hair dressing salon,


every doctors office, because it was just like eating peanuts.


She couldn't stop once she began.


When we launched the magazine were promising advertisers


that we would sell a million copies every week.


And I was frantically trying to pick covers


that would sell on the newstands.


Telly Savalas was in a show called Kojak, a big,


big hit that summer.


And we shot Telly from the waist up.


I mean this was just a great big blob of glistening flesh.


We must have gotten a score of letters from women saying,


Okay, you showed me the top half of Telly,


when are you gonna show me the bottom half?


We didn't quite understand but, it's been happily making money ever since.


These magazines are shorthand for what's on the public's mind.


If there is one word that sums up everything would deliver to the reader,


it is understand.


You can get news anywhere, but if you want to understand


what's going on, that's what we want.


And people, 10 years from now, 20 years from now,


100 years from now, are always going to want that.

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.

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Briton Hadden and Henry Luce

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.

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First Issue of Time
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Advertisement for Time’s Perpetual Subscription, Time, June 17, 1929, p. 4

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.

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First Issue of Fortune
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First Issue of Life
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Unloading Time Covers from Prod chartered plane (Five tons of new covers of Admiral Kimmel for Dec 15, 1941 issue).
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Time Inc. Circulation, Chicago - Mail.

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Sorting LIFE in San Francisco Post Office by John Dominis.

Unloading LIFE shipment from American Express car, Boston and Albany R.R. at Worcester, Man.
Unloading LIFE shipment from American Express car, Boston and Albany R.R. at Worcester, Man.

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.

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Workers at Pacific Press printing copies of Time magazine. © Time Inc.

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Mail Truck Breaking

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.

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First Issue of Sports Illustrated
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kiosk to sign up to be a charte subscriber to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, with a printed “Dummy” of the magazine to thumb through, 1954.

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.

Mail delivery truck weighted down with too many issues of TIME tips backwards.
Mail delivery truck weighted down with too many issues of TIME tips backwards.

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.

A close-up of subscriber address printing plates. Photo by Bernard Hoffman.
A close-up of subscriber address printing plates. Photo by Bernard Hoffman.

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Preliminary sorting of mail by color of envelope which identifies magazine and nature of the letter- Chicago offices 1962.

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.

David “Mr. Zip” Brumbaugh (R) accepting Special Merit Award from Postmaster General John A. Gronouski (L) © Time Inc.
David “Mr. Zip” Brumbaugh (R) accepting Special Merit Award from Postmaster General John A. Gronouski (L) © Time Inc.

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An early photo of David Brumbaugh, by Alfred Eisenstaedt.
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A Postman in Boston, loaded down with LIFE issues- Story or Product: Boston Local Impact; Store: Charles F. Worth- Carrier; RR: R.G. Brown.

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.”

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First Issue of People

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.

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Time Inc. Circulation, Stencil rolls containing names on subscription list by Bernard Hoffman

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Time Inc. Circulation, Chicago- Subscription files.

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.

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Electronic label printer in Time Inc.’s Chicago Subscription Service office transcribes subscriber information from IBM computer onto labels at rate of 36 per second. Each week two of these devices sluice out more than 10,000,000 address labels for Time Inc. magazines. (1950 and later)

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Reels of tape (the same kind used in a tape recorder) contain subscriber information formerly contained in over 147 million punch cards. IBM 7070 computer digested the data and compressed it onto tape. Each reel or tape carried 100,000 full subscriber records.

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.

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First Issue of Entertainment Weekly
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First Issue of InStyle
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Luce stamp ceremony invitation

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.

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First Issue of People en Español
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First issue of 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.

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