Time Inc names new CEO ahead of magazine unit spin-off

REUTERS - Time Warner Inc named a new chief executive on Monday to head up its magazine titles People, Sports Illustrated and Time which will be spun off later this year.

It tapped a former Time Inc and AOL veteran, Mr Joseph Ripp, currently CEO of OneSource Information Services, a digital information company. He will take over in September.

The company intends to spin off the magazine unit into an independent publicly traded company by the end of the year. It did not reveal any more financial details of the spinoff.

Mr Ripp replaces Ms Laura Lang who previously said she was leaving the company. This is the third CEO of unit since 2011.

Mr Ripp started his career at Time Inc in the financial department, eventually becoming the finance chief at Time Warner and AOL.

Magazines have been hit with unprecedented challenges in recent years as people turn to smart phones and tablets to read and advertisers look to other media to place dollars beside print. Investors have been pushing Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes for years to hive off Time Inc, which is considered a slow growth, mature asset.

Earlier, Time Warner named Mr Howard Averill as its chief financial officer. Mr Averill, 49, served as Time Inc's chief financial officer since 2007. He replaces Mr John Martin, who is taking over as CEO of Turner Broadcasting, the unit of Time Warner that oversees cable channels such as TNT, TBS and CNN.

Mr Averill had been named in media reports as a potential candidate to be CEO of Time Inc. A spokesman said Time Inc will begin a search for a new CFO.