Meredith Corporation snapped up Time (which includes titles like Time magazine, People, Fortune and Sports Illustrated) for $2.8bn, with $650million coming from the Koch brothers.
Meredith’s Koch-backed deal claims to want to build “a premier media company serving nearly 200 million American consumers.”
Observers, however, fear the Koch brothers will use the media group for their personal interest and to influence the American people.
Mr. Bill McKibben, a founder of the group 350.org, was critical of the purchase though: “It’s a very proper business decision – a cheap way to wield even more political influence,”
“The return on investment on their political work is off the charts, I fear.”
Meredith explained that the acquisition would bring to its brands a readership of 135 million and paid circulation of nearly 60 million. Even though Time has struggled in recent years, the magazine still wields significant cultural influence. For example, it’s annual ‘person of the year’ award is still highly watched worldwide. The Time issue person of the year recognizes that person who "for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year".
A journalism professor at New York University, Mr. Jay Rosen, acted surprised on the other hand: “Time magazine doesn’t move the needle on anything anymore. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Unless they want to influence the Fortune 500 rankings or something.”
The former science editor of Time Magazine, Mr. Charles Alexander, was the only one of the magazine willing to comment. He states to be very afraid of what the future will bring for Time: “I confess I don’t know what the solution is. But it is perverse and dangerous for two billionaires with no commitment to factual truth to be permitted to buy a magazine that has been a voice for reason and use it to further their narrow business interests.”