After 32 years, Time’s Nancy Gibbs is calling it quits
Gibbs, Time magazine’s editor-in-chief, will step down from the top job at the newsweekly immediately, Time Inc. announced, hours after Media Ink called for comment on exit rumors.
Gibbs will remain editorial director of Time Inc. through the end of the year. She could not be reached for comment at press time. She was hosting an exhibit downtown on Tuesday night tied to the current Time “Firsts” issue — with Hillary Clinton on the cover.
Gibbs is a best-selling author who has the most Time cover stories — more than 100 — of any writer in its 94-year history. The first female editor of the newsweekly, Gibbs has overseen Time during a particularly tumultuous period. While she has aggressively pushed Time.com, the core print product has seen profits wither to nothing.
Time’s digital traffic peaked at 41.2 million in January in the wake of President Trump’s election — with the election of Donald Trump in January, but was down almost 20 percent, to 33 million, as of July, according to comScore.
Archrival Newsweek stopped putting out a print edition altogether — then was sold to new owners at IBT Media, which revived a small press run weekly to augment the digital operation.
US News & World Report, once a formidable No. 3 in the category, long ago skipped the weekly run in favor of monthly specials highlighting things like best colleges and best hospitals.
During Gibbs’ reign at the top, the parent company, Time Inc., in 2014, spun itself off from Time Warner and then, earlier this year, went through a reluctant effort to entertain offers to sell itself. That effort earlier this year saw the publisher rebuff the interest of Edgar Bronfman Jr. and others — before deciding to go it alone.
Chief Executive Rich Battista has made a major push into video and digital products, but the future still looks uncertain. Time said it expects profits to be flat for several more years. While legacy print products are attracting strong digital audiences, the revenue has not been enough to offset the decline in print advertising so far.
The departure of Gibbs, a 57-year-old native New Yorker, will mark another dramatic exit of a storied magazine editor.
On Sept. 7, Condé Nast announced that Graydon Carter was leaving as editor of Vanity Fair at year end after 25 years leading the monthly. On Monday, Elle Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers told her staff she was exiting…