Time Magazine PHOTO/voanews.com

Time Magazine, the American weekly news magazine famously known for its annual ‘Person of the Year’, will have new owners come mid-October.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday September 16 that Marc Benioff, the co-founder of American cloud computing company Salesforce.com, and his wife Lynne Benioff will buy Time for Ksh19 billion within the next 30 days.

Benioff and his wife are reportedly buying the world’s most read weekly magazine as a family investment, meaning it will not be linked to the business of Salesforce.com.

The tech guru who ranks 246th on Bloomberg’s billionaire’s list, tweeted, “The power of Time has always been its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all. A treasure trove of our history & culture. We have deep respect for their organisation & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand.”

In a memo to staff, Time Magazine editor in chief Edward Felsenthal said, “I could not be more thrilled that Marc and Lynne Benioff will be the new owners of TIME. From the first moments we sat down with Marc and Lynne to discuss TIME’s future, we knew that this was not just a meeting of minds and business goals, it was a confluence of purpose.”

Time Magazine has a long history of dominating America’s — and the world’s — consciousness by instigating public debate through its brand of journalism. Cover pages have become worldwide sensations — such as an April 1966’s cover which posed the question “Is God D**d?”


The magazine is also known for its Person of the Year, which is recognition by the magazine’s editors of outstanding individuals or group of individuals every year. Last year, the silence breakers in the #MeToo campaign received recognition, whereas a year earlier, US President D**********p was named Person of the Year.

The purchase of Time echoes a growing trend of tech world protagonists venturing into the journalism world by purchasing traditional publications.

It also comes at a time when traditional print publications are finding it difficult to compete with the digital wave that is usurping information and news models. Early this year, Time publisher Meredith Corp put up for sale Time Inc’s other publications Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated.

In 2013, The Washington Post was sold to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for Ksh25 billion, whereas last year, Laurene Powell Jobs, the wife of Apple Inc. founder the late Steve Jobs, acquired a majority stake in the Atlantic magazine via her organization, the Emerson Collective.

Bezos, who is the world’s richest man, bought the Post as an individual in a deal separate from his position at Amazon.




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