Time's Keith Grossman on building the brand after '10 years of neglect'

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Keith Grossman, seven months into the job as president of Time, doesn't mince words when it comes to Time's recent history. "It's gone through, I would say, 10 years of neglect, through mismanagement, through transition of owners," Grossman said on the Digiday Podcast.

Meredith Corporation completed its purchase of Time, Inc. in early 2018. It sold the group's flagship magazine -- which had suffered a years-long decline in advertising, circulation and profits -- to Marc and Lynne Benioff for $190 million later that year.

But with that new ownership, Grossman is optimistic. "Now that it has dedicated, focused resources, I think we're in a really strong position to evolve the Time brand to really capture the attention of the next generation of consumers," Grossman said.

Grossman sees the main challenge as getting consumers to recognize Time as a standalone brand that goes beyond the red-bordered weekly. The publication recently recreated Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech using virtual reality. It also partnered with Nickelodeon to bring Time for Kids' "Kid of the Year" franchise to TV.

Grossman put the company's second challenge in the form of a question: "Is it relevant to the next generation of consumers?"

Some of Time's internal audience statistics are already promising: 44% of the "Time total community" is under the age of 35. More than half of that community is female, and a third is "non-Caucasian," Grossman added.

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