Marc Benioff, Salesforce Founder, Buys Time Magazine

September 17, 2018

By Conor White

Just eight months after finding a new home, Time magazine is moving again. Salesforce founder and Co-CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne are purchasing the magazine from Meredith Corp. for $190 million.

The deal should be welcome for employees of the venerated title, according to Chandra Steele, senior features writer at PC Mag.

"Media in general is tenuous, but if you really don't know what's going to happen in the future, this is a nice cash infusion," she explained in an interview on Cheddar. "It's somebody who has experience with data and analytics and I think that's what Time needs right now."

Meredith, which owned Better Holmes and Gardens and Family Circle before buying Time Inc. earlier this year, said in May it planned to divest iconic titles like Time, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune. In Sunday's announcement, Time said the Benioffs will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of Time and will have no editorial impact. They made the purchase in an individual capacity, not as part of Salesforce.

This wouldn't be the first time a giant in the tech world got in on the media business. The Washington Post is now owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and The Los Angeles Times was recently purchased by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, one of the richest men in LA. In an interview Monday on Cheddar, Steele said purchases like these can only be seen as positive for legacy media organizations, which have struggled in the digital age.

"We have to realize that print is something that's beneficial to everyone," Steele noted. "It's great to have digital, but I think that these billionaires are realizing that there's benefit to that."

Steele said that Benioff is unlikely to shut off the printing presses or make the dreaded "pivot to video."

"The thing with Time is its cover is so iconic," she said. "A lot of times you'll see things go from print to just digital, I don't think that's an option for Time really."

For full interview click here.