Now that Rich Battista is the new CEO of Time Inc. everyone wants to know what he has planned for the company. Battista will be doing a lot of these types of interviews over the next few weeks and months, but Vanity Fair was among the first to get a crack at him. Below are some highlights.
There’s an opportunity for things like native advertising, which is becoming a multi-billion-dollar opportunity in the industry, and we think we can really play well in that space.
On the importance of streaming video, like Time Inc.’s People/Entertainment Weekly Network:
It’s early innings and we wanted to plant our flag. We’re really the first blue-chip brand that has created an ad-supported free streaming network with original content. And we’re playing to win. The beautiful thing is, because it’s direct to consumer, we can do it quickly. Because of technology, we can do it for a fraction of the cost it takes to launch a traditional linear cable network, so the economics and speed are on our side, as well.
On the inevitability of more layoffs:
There’s no other major restructurings that I’m planning to do, but change is pretty constant in this industry today, and sometimes we’re going to have to make hard decisions that I don’t want to make.
On improving Time Inc.’s content:
What we’re talking about is how we leverage our content in smarter ways across the brand. Here’s a perfect example: just recently there was some news story, and I think four or five of our brands posted about it at different times, four or five different writers wrote it, and it was a pretty generic entertainment story. To me, that doesn’t seem very efficient. Why not have a news desk where everyone’s sharing. You can say, ‘O.K., on this one, why don’t you take this and you create that story and then everybody wins because everyone can put it on their sites at the same time when it breaks.’