Salesforce founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne Benioff, on Sunday announced plans to purchase Time Magazine from Meredith Corporation for $190 million in cash.
The Benioffs said they were buying the storied newsmagazine personally and the transaction is unrelated to Salesforce.com, where Mr. Benioff serves as chairman, co-CEO and founder. Time claims a combined audience of more than 100 million readers in print and online, including over 50 million digital visitors.
The Benioffs said they would not be involved in the magazine’s day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions, which will continue to be led by the current executive leadership team and editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal.
“We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand,” Benioff said in a tweet on Sunday.
The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all. A treasure trove of our history & culture. We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand. https://t.co/TsbcXhO1OU
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) September 16, 2018
The tech guru — whose fortune is estimated to be $6.5 billion, according to Forbes — is the latest to invest in a legacy media brand. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post has proved remarkably successful, while former Facebook exec Chris Hughes had a rockier time with his brief ownership of The New Republic.
Meredith, which completed a $2.8 billion all-cash acquisition of Time Inc. earlier this year, said the transaction was subject to regulatory approval and expected to close within 30 days.
In March, just over a month after completing the acquisition, Meredith announced plans to sell the flagship magazine as well as to seek buyers for other longtime Time Inc. titles — Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money magazines — that do not fit into its more female-skewing portfolio of magazine brands.