The Koch brothers, whose conservative advocacy efforts recently (and with apparent success) led them to pledge millions to GOP congressmen who torpedoed the deeply unpopular GOP healthcare bills, has now come full circle on a different mission to (maybe) further their agendas. Time Inc. announced on Sunday that they’ve been purchased by the Meredith Corp. in an all-cash deal that was backed by the billionaire pair.
The New York Times delivers news of the nearly $3 billion transaction, which will close in early 2018 and includes all of Time Inc.’s publications, including Time, Better Homes and Gardens, Sports Illustrated and People. However, the joint announcement claims that while the Kochs have (per Reuters) put up a $650 million funding transfusion for Meredith, they won’t be sitting on Meredith’s board and will supposedly be “hands off” on daily operations:
In a news release announcing the deal, Meredith said that Koch Equity Development would not have a seat on Meredith’s board of directors and would “have no influence on Meredith’s editorial or managerial operations.” The investment from the Kochs, Meredith said, “underscores a strong belief in Meredith’s strength as a business operator, its strategies, and its ability to unlock significant value from the Time Inc. acquisition.”
It’s difficult to imagine the Koch brothers putting up such an ungodly cash sum — although it is a drop in the proverbial bucket for them — without wielding some sort of influence over at least a few key publications. Naturally, one wonders whether these magazines will suddenly end up being pro-Trump or not, and that’s a tough call to make, considering the hate–love–hate history that the brothers have with Trump. As for the president himself, he’s probably hoping that this means he’ll really be Time‘s Person of the Year in 2018.