Sports Illustrated, other magazines up for sale as Meredith lays off hundreds

Meredith Corp. announced on Wednesday that it may sell Sports Illustrated, Time and other brands, as the magazine publisher looks to shed some titles after its $2.8 billion acquisition of Time Inc.

The company also said it notified 200 employees that their positions have been eliminated, and another 1,000 layoffs will come in the next 10 months. The layoffs are part of a plan to cut $400 million to $500 million in costs.

Meredith said it has already fielded interest from potential buyers for Sports Illustrated, Time, Money and Fortune. Before scooping up Time Inc. in January, Meredith was best known for its lifestyle, food and entertainment titles. Its portfolio includes Woman’s Weekly, Country Life and Better Homes and Gardens, in addition to 17 television stations.

The magazines up for sale might be better off under a different owner, according to Meredith President and CEO Tom Harty.

“These are attractive properties with strong consumer reach. However, they have different target audiences and advertising bases, and we believe each brand is better suited for success with a new owner,” Harty said in a statement.

“We are pleased with the inbound interest we have received, and we are confident these brands will be positioned for growth with an owner that shares Meredith's respect for editorial integrity and independence.”

Harty told employees that “wealthy individuals” who were involved in the sports industry have expressed interest in acquiring Sports Illustrated, according to Deadspin.