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Salesforce Billionaire Marc Benioff Buys Time for $190 Million

Salesforce Billionaire Marc Benioff Buys Time for $190 Million

“The Benioffs are purchasing Time personally and the transaction is unrelated to, where Mr. Benioff is chairman, co-C.E.O. and founder.”

Salesforce billionaire Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne have purchased struggling Time magazine for $190 million. From The Wall Street Journal:

In an interview, Mr. Benioff said, “We’re investing in a company with tremendous impact on the world, one that is also an incredibly strong business. That’s what we’re looking for when we invest as a family.”

The Benioffs are optimistic about Time’s large audience and growing video business. “The power of Time is its unique story telling of the people and issues that affect us all and connect us all,” said Mrs. Benioff.

Still, the couple will be taking over a publication whose business has been hammered from ongoing declines in print advertising and newsstand sales. Many magazines have struggled to transition into digital-first businesses as traditional sources of revenue have eroded. The Benioffs said they won’t have a role in day-to-day operations of the magazine or journalistic decisions. Mr. Benioff said the family doesn’t plan to acquire any other magazine titles from Meredith.

The Benioffs are the latest wealthy people from the tech world to buy a traditional news publication. In 2013, Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Inc., bought the Washington Post. And last year, Laurene Powell Jobs, the wife of the late Steve Jobs, acquired a majority stake in the Atlantic magazine via her organization, the Emerson Collective.

As of now, Meredith owns Time along with other publications like Better Home and Gardens. Chief Content Officer of the Time brands Alan Murray said he chose the Benioffs after meetings with dozens of other interested people. From The New York Times:

Alan Murray, the chief content officer of the Time Inc. brands at Meredith, said that, after dozens of meetings with suitors — “I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count them,” he said — the Benioffs emerged as the best fit, willing to put journalistic integrity ahead of corporate gains.

“They’re not looking for private-equity returns,” Mr. Murray said, adding that the couple would help the title “further make the transition into the digital world, but don’t want to get involved” in editorial decisions.

Meredith had fended off offers from multiple suitors, including a more than $325 million offer from David J. Pecker, a confidant of President Trump and chief executive of American Media Inc., publisher of The National Enquirer, to purchase three Time Inc. titles.

In a statement, the Des Moines-based Meredith echoed that Time would maintain editorial independence, and made it clear that the deal had nothing to do with Salesforce.

“The Benioffs are purchasing Time personally and the transaction is unrelated to, where Mr. Benioff is chairman, co-C.E.O. and founder,” Meredith said in its release.

Benioff made his fortune with Salesforce, which is “a cloud software company whose products are for businesses,” similar to products from Oracle and Microsoft. Forbes estimated his fortune at $6 billion.

Benioff is famous in San Francisco and known for his social activism. He has spoken out “against state efforts to restrict gay rights.” This venture will probably propel him into the national spotlight.

The duo will not have involvement in the day-to-day operations at Time.


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Tax write off or new billionaire hobby. Way too much money spent…. Time has run out.

Sounds like Benioff has ambitions to see himself on the cover as the Time “Man of the Year”. Probably the very last one.

These businesses are all losing. But “one percenter” liberal zealots with more money than anyone buy them with the intention of writing them off and paying less taxes.

They’re hypocritical based on the mantra of the political left, but as long as they can control the narrative, they are protected.

I assume there is a consistent typo in the headline and the entire article. The purchase price was likely just $190.

Memo to Benioffs,

Unknown to me my wife subscribed to a package “deal” of magazines including Time, People, some cooking things. Since I work out of my house and usually get to the mail first, all of these things are pitched into File 13 immediately, That includes especially Time.

Bucky Barkingham | September 17, 2018 at 2:06 pm

With good management and luck in 10 years he’ll be able to sell Time for $90 million.

So, Benioff is politically congruent (“=”) or selectively exclusive. He’s probably Pro-Choice, selective and opportunistic, and is not technically a bigot (i.e. sanctimonious hypocrite), but there is a universal frame of reference that does not enable #NoJudgmentSelective and #NoLabelsTooMany.

That said, the homosexual elite want to be considered “=” to heterosexual couples, and separate from others in the transgender spectrum. It’s either marriage for a couple (i.e. man and woman) in principle (i.e. duck dynasties), or civil unions for all consenting adults without diversity (i.e. color judgments) including their numeric, social, political, sexual orientation, and gendered attributes.

Bezos envy?

Time appears to be a depreciating asset. Unless perhaps he’s figured out some way to extend the brandname in some way that can be made to grow?

So Meredith accepted a nearly half-price offer in order to keep Time in radical leftist hands, with promises of no interference with radical leftist editorship, rather than let a Trump supporter try to breathe some actual life into Time’s rotting corpse. I take it that means Meridith is not a public company and does not have to worry about honoring any fiduciary responsibility to shareholders?