Time Warner said its board of directors has authorized management to go ahead and set up Time Inc. as an independent, publicly traded company by the end of the calendar year.
Time Inc.'s magazines, such as Time, People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle and Real Simple, reach more than 110 million Americans each month. Its websites draw nearly 50 million unique visitors monthly, the company said.
"After a thorough review of options, we believe that a separation will better position both Time Warner and Time Inc.," Time Warner Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes said in a release posted on its website. "A complete spin-off of Time Inc. provides strategic clarity for Time Warner Inc., enabling us to focus entirely on our television networks and film and TV production businesses, and improves our growth profile.
"Time Inc. will also benefit from the flexibility and focus of being a stand-alone public company and will now be able to attract a more natural stockholder base. As we saw with the prior spin-offs of Time Warner Cable and AOL, we expect the separation will create additional value for our stockholders."
The company said Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang has said she will stay on through the separation process and will help find her successor.
"Laura indicated to me that we should find a different kind of CEO for this new public company, and I respect her decision," Bewkes said. "She has been a great partner who has given Time Inc. forward momentum to make this transition possible, and I look forward to working with her to select the right leader to head the company as an independent entity."