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Time Inc. to lay off as many as 700

Cuts will come across the board, not focusing on editorial

Time Warner’s Time Inc. will lay off up to 700 staffers out of just under 8,000 total as the publisher’s new chief struggles to transform famous titles and massive market share into a digital profit center.

The staff cuts will come sometime in the first quarter, said a person familiar with the company’s plans, and will be across the board — not just focused on editorial, where staffing has already been hard hit.

A Time Warner spokesman declined comment.

Time Inc. revenue fell 6% for the nine months ended in September to $2.5 billion. Profit dropped 14% to $220 million. During that period, it dominated 21.5% of overall domestic magazine advertising.

Time’s stable of 21 U.S. magazines and 25 websites includes Time, In Style, Fortune, People, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated and Real Simple. It has over 100 titles worldwide.

For the third quarter, subscription revenue dipped 6% and advertising revenue eased 5%, echoing trends across the traditional publishing world as consumers digest information in new ways. Digital advertising and expanding readership on tablets and other mobile devices hasn’t made up for losses elsewhere.

Given the new face of publishing, Time Warner settled in late 2011 on Laura Lang, CEO of digital marketing agency Digitas, to run the business. She started just over a year ago.

Time Warner will report fourth-quarter and full-year financial results on Feb. 6.

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