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Time (trademarked in capitals as TIME) is an American newsmagazine. A European edition (Time Europe, formerly known as Time Atlantic) is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition (Time Asia) is based in Hong Kong. As of 2009, Time no longer publishes a Canadian advertiser edition. The South Pacific edition, covering Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, is based in Sydney. In some advertising campaigns, the magazine has suggested that, through a backronym, the letters T-I-M-E stand for The International Magazine of Events.

As of mid-2006, Richard Stengel is the managing editor.


Time magazine was created in 1923 by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce, making it the first weekly news magazine in the United States. The two had previously worked together as chairman and managing editor of the Yale Daily News and considered calling the magazine Facts. Hadden was a rather carefree figure, who liked to tease Luce and saw Time as something important but also fun. That accounts for its tone, which many people still criticize as too light for serious news and more suited to its heavy coverage of celebrities (including politicians), the entertainment industry, and pop culture. It set out to tell the news through people, and for many decades the magazine's cover was of a single person. The first issue of Time was published on March 3, 1923, featuring on its cover Joseph G. Cannon, the retired Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; a facsimile reprint of Issue No. 1, including all of the articles and advertisements contained in the original, was included with copies of the February 28, 1938 issue as a commemoration of the magazine's 15th anniversary. On Hadden's death in 1929, Luce became the dominant man at Time and a major figure in the history of 20th-century media. According to Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise 1972–2004 by Robert Elson, "Roy Edward Larsen […] was to play a role second only to Luce's in the development of Time Inc." In his book, The March of Time, 1935–1951, Raymond Fielding also noted that Larsen was "originally circulation manager and then general manager of Time, later publisher of Life, for many years president of Time, Inc., and in the long history of the corporation the most influential and important figure after Luce."

Around the time they were raising US$100,000 from rich Yalemarker alumni like Henry P. Davison, partner of J.P. Morgan & Co., publicity man Martin Egan and J.P. Morgan & Co. banker Dwight Morrow, Henry Luce and Briton Hadden hired Larsen in 1922 – although Larsen was a Harvardmarker graduate and Luce and Hadden were Yale graduates. After Hadden died in 1929, Larsen purchased 550 shares of Time Inc., using money he obtained from selling RKO stock which he had inherited from his father, who was the head of the B.F. Keith theatre chain in New Englandmarker. However, after Briton Hadden's death, the largest Time Inc. stockholder was Henry Luce, who ruled the media conglomerate in an autocratic fashion, "at his right hand was Larsen," Time Inc.'s second-largest stockholder, according to "Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise 1923–1941". In 1929, Roy Larsen was also named a Time Inc. director and a Time Inc. vice-president. J.P. Morgan retained a certain control through two directorates and a share of stocks, both over Time and Fortune. Other shareholders were Brown Brothers W. A. Harriman & Co., and The New York Trust Company (Standard Oil).

By the time of Henry Luce's death in 1967, the Time Inc. stock which Luce owned was worth about US$109 million and yielded him a yearly dividend income of more than US$2.4 million, according to The World of Time Inc: The Intimate History Of A Changing Enterprise 1960–1989 by Curtis Prendergast. The value of the Larsen family's Time Inc. stock was now worth about $80 million during the 1960s and Roy Larsen was both a Time Inc. director and the chairman of its Executive Committee, before serving as Time Inc.'s vice-chairman of the board until the middle of 1979. According to the September 10, 1979 issue of The New York Times, "Mr. Larsen was the only employee in the company's history given an exemption from its policy of mandatory retirement at age 65."

After Time magazine began publishing its weekly issues in March 1923, Roy Larsen was able to increase its circulation by utilizing U.S. radio and movie theaters around the world. It often promoted both "Time" magazine and U.S. political and corporate interests. According to The March of Time, as early as 1924, Larsen had brought Time into the infant radio business with the broadcast of a 15-minute sustaining quiz show entitled Pop Question which survived until 1925." Then, according to the same book, "In 1928 […] Larsen undertook the weekly broadcast of a 10-minute programme series of brief news summaries, drawn from current issues of Time magazine […] which was originally broadcast over 33 stations throughout the United States."

Larsen next arranged for a 30-minute radio programme, The March of Time, to be broadcast over CBS, beginning on March 6, 1931. Each week, the programme presented a dramatisation of the week's news for its listeners, thus Time magazine itself was brought "to the attention of millions previously unaware of its existence," according to Time Inc.: The Intimate History Of A Publishing Enterprise 1923–1941, leading to an increased circulation of the magazine during the 1930s. Between 1931 and 1937, Larsen's The March of Time radio programme was broadcast over CBS radio and between 1937 and 1945 it was broadcast over NBC radio – except for the 1939 to 1941 period when it was not aired. People Magazine was based on Time's People page.

Time became part of Time Warner in 1989 when Warner Communications and Time, Inc. merged. Jason McManus succeeded Henry Grunwald in 1988 as Editor-in-Chief and oversaw the transition before Norman Pearlstine succeeded him in 1995.


Since 2000, the magazine has been part of AOL Time Warner, which subsequently reverted to the name Time Warner in 2003.

In 2007, Time moved from a Monday subscription/newsstand delivery to a schedule where the magazine goes on sale Fridays, and is delivered to subscribers on Saturday. The magazine actually began in 1923 with Friday publication.

During early 2007, the year's first issue was delayed for approximately a week due to "editorial changes." The changes included the job losses of 49 employees.

In 2009, Time announced that they were introducing a personalised print magazine, Mine, mixing content from a range of Time Warner publications based on the reader's preferences. The new magazine met with a poor reception, with criticism that its focus was too broad to be truly personal.


In 2007, Time's paid circulation dropped to 3.4 million.

Time Magazine Paid Circulation by Year
Year 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Circulation (millions) 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.4 3.4

The magazine has an online archive with the unformatted text for every article published. The articles are indexed and were converted from scanned images using optical character recognition technology. There are still minor errors in the text that are remnants of the conversion into digital format.

At the end of 2008, Time discontinued publication of its Canadian edition, which had been in existence for over 60 years.


The distinctive Time writing style was parodied in 1936 by Wolcott Gibbs in an article in The New Yorker: "Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind […] Where it all will end, knows God!" The early days of incessantly inverted sentences, "beady-eyed tycoons" and "great and good friends", however, have long since vanished.

Up until the mid-1970s or so, Time had a weekly section called "Listings", which contained capsule summaries and/or reviews of then-current significant films, plays, musicals, television programs, and literary bestsellers, much like The New Yorker's section "Current Events".

Time is also known for its signature red border, introduced in 1927 and changed only three times since then. The issue released shortly after the September 11 attacks on the United States featured a black border to symbolize mourning. However, this edition was a special "extra" edition published quickly for the breaking news of the event; the next regularly scheduled issue contained the red border. The next time that Time would release a special edition magazine was in June 2009 following the death of Michael Jackson. Additionally, the April 28, 2008 issue of Time featured a change from the signature red border: The 2008 Earth Day issue, dedicated to environmental issues, contained a green border.

In 2007, Time engineered a style overhaul of the magazine. Among other changes, the magazine reduced the red cover border in order to promote featured stories, enlarged column titles, reduced the number of featured stories, increased white space around articles, and accompanied opinion pieces with photographs of the writers. The changes have met both criticism and praise.

Legal controversy

On September 10, 2007, the Supreme Courtmarker of Indonesiamarker awarded former Indonesian President Suharto damages against Time Asia magazine, ordering it to pay him one trillion rupiah for libel. The High Court reversed the judgment of the Appeal Court and Central Jakarta District Court (made in 2000 and 2001). Suharto claimed more than US$27 billion ($32bn) in the suit against US-based Time over a 1999 article which published that he transferred stolen money abroad.

Person of the Year

Time s most famous feature throughout its history has been the annual "Person of the Year" (formerly "Man of the Year") cover story, in which Time recognizes the individual or group of individuals who have had the biggest effect on the year's news. Despite the title, the recipient is not necessarily individuals or even human beings – for instance, on January 3, 1983 the personal computer was recognized as "Machine of the Year" ( In 1989 "Endangered Earth" was named as "Planet Of The Year." In 1999, Albert Einstein was chosen by Time as Person of the Century.

Controversy has occasionally arisen because of the designation of alleged dictators and warmongers as "Persons of the Year". The distinction is supposed to go to the person who, for good or ill, has most affected the course of the year; it is therefore not necessarily an honor or a reward. In the past, such figures as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin have been Man of the Year. In 2001, Time was accused of giving way to political correctness when it named Rudy Giuliani Person of the Year. Corazon Aquino who restored democracy in the Philippinesmarker and impressed the U.S. Congress with her speeches is one of four women to grace Time as Woman of the Year.

In 2006 the Person of the Year was designated as "You", a move that was met with split reviews. Some thought the concept was creative; others wanted an actual person of the year. Others stated, again, that it was due to perceptions of misguided patriotism for many assumed the just bearer of the title to be the President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez. Editor Stengel reflected that, if it had been a mistake, "we're only going to make it once."

In 2008, the person of the year was Barack Obama, with Sarah Palin as a runner up. Obama is the twelfth U.S. President (or President-elect) so honored, following a line of every president since Franklin Roosevelt, with the sole exception of Gerald Ford.

Time 100

In recent years, Time has assembled an annual list of the 100 most influential people of the year. Originally, they had made a list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. These issues usually have the front cover filled with pictures of people from the list and devote a substantial amount of space within the magazine to the 100 articles about each of the people on the list. There have, in some cases, been over 100 people, when two people have made the list together, sharing one spot.

Time For Kids

Written by young reporters, Time For Kids is a division magazine of Time that is especially published for children and is mainly distributed in classrooms. TFK contains some national news, a "Cartoon of the Week", and a variety of articles concerning popular culture. An annual issue concerning the environment is distributed near the end of the U.S. school term. The publication hardly ever reaches above fifteen pages front and back. It is used in many libraries.

Notable contributors

  • Aravind Adiga, Time correspondent for three years, winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize for fiction
  • James Agee
  • Margaret Carlson was the first female columnist for Time.
  • Whittaker Chambers was editor of Time for a while.
  • Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel are film critics for the magazine. Schickel has been with the magazine since 1972 while Corliss has been with it since 1980.
  • Ana Marie Cox writes the Ana Log (a compilation of political tidbits) for the magazine. She is also an acclaimed blogger and author.
  • Nancy Gibbs, essayist and editor-at-large; has written more than 100 Time cover stories
  • Lev Grossman, brother of Bathsheba and Austin, writes primarily about books for the magazine.
  • Robert Hughes has been Time's art critic since 1970.
  • Michael Kinsley is a well traveled American journalist and is an essayist for the magazine.
  • Joe Klein is an author (Primary Colors) and a columnist for the magazine who writes the "In the Arena" column for the magazine.
  • Charles Krauthammer is a commentator for the Washington Post. He also contributes essays to Time.
  • Nathaniel Lande, author, filmmaker, and former creative director of Time.
  • Will Lang Jr. 1936–1968, Time Life International}
  • Michael Schuman is an American author and journalist who specializes in Asian economics, politics and history. He is currently the Asia business correspondent for TIME Magazine based in Hong Kong.
  • Robert D. Simon 1950–1987, Time Life International
  • Joel Stein is a sometimes controversial writer for the magazine who wrote the Joel 100 just after Time Magazine's Most Influential issue in 2006.

See also


  1. Time Canada
  2. "Henry R. Luce", in Current Biography 1941, p530
  3. Instant History: Review of First Issue with Cover
  4. Averages calculated by the Magaize Publishers of America from Audit Bureau of Circulations statements for the first and second six months of each year
  6. April 28, 2008 Green border issue
  7. MSNBC-TV report by Andrea Mitchell, April 17, 2008, 1:45PM .
  8., Suharto wins $128m in damages

Further reading

Lundberg, Ferdinand. America's Sixty Families. New York: Vanuguard Press, 1937.

Swanberg, W. A. Luce and his Empire. New York: Scribner, 1972

  • The Man Time Forgot: A Tale of Genius, Betrayal, and the Creation of Time Magazine, Isaiah Wilner, HarperCollins, New York, 2006

External links

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