Time Warner to spin off Time magazine unit

Time Warner Inc yesterday said that it will spin off its magazine unit Time Inc, the largest magazine publisher in the US, into an independent public company in order to focus on its high growth cable television and film businesses.

The announcement came a few hours after it ended talks on merging Time Inc with Meredith Corp's National Media Group.

''Time Warner Inc today announced that its board of directors has authorised management to proceed with plans for the complete legal and structural separation of Time Inc. from Time Warner,'' the New York-based media and entertainment giant said in a statement.

''Following the proposed transaction, Time Inc. would be an independent, publicly traded company. Time Warner aims to complete the proposed transaction by the end of the calendar year,'' it added.

Time Inc would be the fourth company to be spun off by Time Warner after its separation from AOL, Time Warner Cable and Time Warner Book Group into independent companies.

Meredith Corp yesterday confirmed that it had held discussions with Time Warner regarding a potential merger of Meredith's National Media Group with Time Inc.'s Lifestyle and Style & Entertainment brands with Meredith's titles such as Everyday Living with Rachael Ray and Better Homes and Gardens, but it did not give any reasons as to why the talks broke down.