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Time exec says Meredith merger boosts the company's chances against 'tech monsters'

CNBC International 2017-12-07 10:32:41
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Tech giants are putting media firms at peril, Fortune president says    26 Mins Ago | 02:50

Media giant Time Inc.'s acquisition by Meredith is key to boosting its digital business, offering it a fighting chance against "giant tech monsters" like Facebook and Google, the company's chief content officer, Alan Murray, said Thursday.

The $2.8 billion deal, backed by an affiliate of billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, was announced in November.

"The important thing to realize about this merger is that, when you put the two companies together, we become the sixth largest digital media operation in the United States — 174 million unique visitors to our sites," Murray told CNBC.

"It makes the combined company a serious digital player, which is what you have to be in today's media world," he added.

According to Murray, the media industry is facing an exceptionally tough period because of the digital disruption. "Giant tech monsters" like Facebook and Google are taking the lion's share of digital advertising without having to spend on creating content, he said.

"The only way you have a chance to survive in this world is to have great scale, or to have a very secure, small niche," Murray said.

Time has a market capitalization of $1.8 billion, while Meredith's stands at $3.1 billion.

Time has also been in the news of late because President Donald Trump alleged in a Twitter post that the flagship magazine had reached out to him and implied he would "PROBABLY" be named the "Man (Person) of the Year."

Trump tweet: Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named "Man (Person) of the Year," like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!

The magazine denied that account, and Murray had said on Twitter that there was "not a speck of truth" to Trump's claim. Asked by CNBC about the disagreement with the president, Murray said: "I can't begin to fathom the internal workings of the president's mind."

Time's actual selection for "Person of the Year" was the "The Silence Breakers" — women who spoke out against sexual harassment