Crawford says Time Warner will sell magazine unit

CHICAGO Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:49pm EDT

People walk in front of the Time Warner Inc. headquarters building at Columbus Circle in New York October 13, 2005. REUTERS/Nicholas Roberts

People walk in front of the Time Warner Inc. headquarters building at Columbus Circle in New York October 13, 2005.

Credit: Reuters/Nicholas Roberts

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Time Warner Inc will eventually sell the Time Inc magazine unit and could buy holdings in its core entertainment category, Gordon Crawford, managing director of its largest shareholder, said during a presentation this week.

"Time Warner just spun off their cable division, they are going to sell their print division, they are going to spin off AOL and they're just going to be Warner Brothers, HBO and the Turner Networks," said Crawford, managing director of The Capital Group.

"Now, they will make acquisitions ... but they're probably going to buy just stuff in their wheel house of those businesses. They're not going to, I don't think, go very far afield from their core competency."

Crawford made the comments during a September 24 discussion at University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication entitled "The Art of the Long View: The Media Company of 2020."

Time Warner declined to comment on Saturday.

Time Inc's magazines include popular titles such as People and Sports Illustrated. In the second quarter, revenue at Time Inc publishing, the largest U.S. magazine publisher, fell 22 percent to $915 million due to a 26 percent decline in advertising revenue.

While Crawford did not name specific acquisition targets, he did say there would be a "winnowing process" during which weaker companies in the sector would be gobbled up.

Capital Research Global Investors held 98.6 million shares of Time Warner, or 8.32 percent of the company's total shares outstanding, as of June 30.

The presentation, which was available online, was discussed in a BusinessWeek blog posted on Friday.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl, Editing by Sandra Maler)

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