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For Time Inc. and Other Media Companies, Breaking Up Is Cool

On Friday, the publisher of Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Fortune will set out on its own, as Time Warner completes its spinoff. And Time isn't the only media company splitting apart.

On Friday, the publisher of Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Fortune will set out on its own, as Time Warner completes its spinoff. And Time isn't the only media company splitting apart. Tribune, News Corp, the former Washington Post Co. and Media General have all taken similar steps. The moves bring to an end a long period of expansion, during which print businesses were joined with TV and web assets in pursuit of synergies that would supposedly make the resulting companies more powerful than their individual components. Many executives are now convinced that publishing businesses are better off as separate companies, and they're probably right.