Odd things are going on at Time Inc, if rumors about the company’s executive vice president, Sylvia Auton, and her recent behavior are to be believed. Auton is said to have lobbied for Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes to spin off the magazine unit, believing it would fare better on its own. Her colleagues were said to have been utterly confused by the decision and wondered why Auton was taking on this task in the first place rather than Time Inc.’s CEO, Ann Moore.
Auton, for her part, denies all this, telling the NY Post that she thinks the magazine unit is fine right where it is:
I have never approached Time Warner management to sell Time Inc., and would never do so. I believe that Time Inc. has a brilliant future as part of Time Warner.
Auton has also been taken to task for making a fuzzy distinction between advertising and editorial, with some worried that one instance in particular, an insert in Real Simple magazine titled “Decorating with Wal-Mart,” went against ASME guidelines. Auton said that all the company’s publications meet the very latest rules and guidelines and isn’t this sweater so soft? The secret is Downy. Available at Wal-mart stores nationwide.