The moves are similar in scope to those Griffin made while president-CEO of the National Media Group at Meredith Corp., whose titles include Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle.
For example, in 2006 Griffin created Meredith Integrated Marketing, the company's digital marketing services unit, making Meredith's brands less dependent on print advertising just as media buyers started to migrate their budgets en masse to online venues.
Four months after succeeding Ann Moore at Time Inc., Griffin has already put his imprimatur on the company, which publishes Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated and Time, among other titles.
Regarding Time Inc. Branded Solutions, Caine said, “Our goal is to leverage the branded assets [of the company] and the scale of those assets with programs and ideas for our clients.” He added: “We do see terrific branded programs existing within our groups and within our brands, but we also see, at times, that there are opportunities to add even more value to them.”
The changes at Time Inc. come amid some improvement in the advertising market following two years of anemic media spending.
Time Inc.'s ad revenue grew 6.7% last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Ad pages increased 2.8%.
“They've got to find new ways to leverage their content that are going to be profitable for them, attractive to advertisers and engaging to readers,” said George Janson, managing partner and director of print for media buyer GroupM, whose clients include Accenture, Dell Inc. and Novartis.
“They have storied brands that are part of our culture. The question is: What do you do with them that's going to make money? That's [Griffin's] biggest challenge, as it is for every media company.”
Janson added: “He's had a lot of success fostering integration at Meredith but, admittedly, Time Inc. is a very different company; there are more institutionalized silos and fiefdoms.”
Reed Phillips, managing partner of media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips, said Griffin has been given “carte blanche” to reset Time Inc. “He's got most of the changes out of the way and is now focused on execution,” Phillips said. “He's putting a greater emphasis on digital media, which is the area where he can make the largest impact in the shortest period of time.”