A Moment at TIME: From a Storied Past to a Digital Present

 

“Breathe. Look. Learn.” This is a simple business model for weekly reflection according to Justine Simons, Time Inc.’s Coordinating Producer of Video. As part of a company that outshines many of its competitors in its ability to grow and adapt to the ever-evolving environment of technology and social media, Simons and her coworkers have certainly found ways to keep a legacy print magazine relevant in a digital age. During a visit to Time Inc. organized by Edward Felsenthal, the company’s Group Digital Director, News and Lifestyle, NYUSPS MS in Publishing: Digital and Print Media students met with key members of the TIME magazine team and toured the amazing and inclusive new headquarters.

“It can be difficult to slow down and process news when we are constantly receiving phone updates,” said Simons. In response, Sam Jacobs, Executive Editor of TIME Digital, agreed that TIME’s role in the industry is to allow you to “sit back and reflect” on what is happening in the world around us. That said, the editors are scrambling round-the-clock to publish weekly issues. Creative Director D.W. Pine describes “listening and waiting to hear what the cover story is that week,” eyeing that famous red TIME border, and eventually trying multiple cover versions. He always keeps in mind that most people will interact with the cover online or in a social feed. And moments after the cover is completed, it gets animated for Instagram.

 

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Edward Felsenthal, Group Digital Director, News and Lifestyle at Time Inc., (left) and D. W. Pine, Creative Director for TIME, (right) show off the magazine’s iconic red border.

The recent move to the Liberty Street headquarters enabled the company to better integrate cultures of both print and digital media. Time Inc. made the decision to move from the Time and Life building—“a 1950s gem,” according to Felsenthal—in some measure for the opportunity to be in a building with an open floor plan. The new building allows the Time Inc. staff across all of its brands to collaborate and work as one integrated team. “This is a far more integrated company than any I have ever worked in,” noted Jacobs. Felsenthal also mentioned that in the old building, you could go for weeks without seeing people from brands other than your own; in the new building, business transactions occur across brands and departments on the staircase every day.

 

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Left to Right: Justine Simons, Coordinating Producer of Video at Time Inc.; Sam Jacobs, Executive Editor of TIME Digital; and Julia Ryan, Senior Audience Strategy Editor at Time Inc.

Engagement on multiple levels is key, and Julia Ryan, Senior Audience Strategy Editor at Time Inc., has made it her mission to connect with consumers through as many efficient and direct social media platforms as possible. On average, Time Inc. produces 1,000 pieces of digital content per day, and 44% of Time.com readers fall into the 18-34 age range that is magic to advertisers. Despite digital content moving faster than print, both Ryan and Felsenthal stressed the importance of fact checking all published content. In a world where “fake news” is a buzzword, Felsenthal and his team have upheld the brand’s “commitment to getting facts right.” Though some folks are concerned that careers in media are going through a tumultuous time, the editors of Time Inc. are enormously engaged, passionate, and committed to guiding and welcoming those interested in entering publishing. “This industry is more turbulent, but it is so much more interesting [now]! The last time I was bored,” noted Felsenthal, “was in the nineties.”

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Open concept work spaces in the new Time Inc. building.

by Lexy Alemao

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