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Mark Lennihan / AP

Time Inc. stock is down more than 13% in mid-day Wednesday trading, following a first quarter earnings report that included lower-than-expected revenue and higher-than-expected losses. All of this means that the venerable media giant is now trading well below the unsolicited $18 per share takeover offer it rejected last fall from Edgar Bronfman Jr. and the solicited $18 per share takeover offer that it rejected last month from Meredith Corp.

According to CEO Rich Battista, however, the blame does not belong to a board of directors who overvalued the company or management that fell short on performance. From the earnings call:

"The noise and relentless media speculation over the last 6 months around the potential change of ownership clearly was a major distraction to our employees and advertisers and other partners, and had an impact on Q1 results."

Bottom line: Blaming the media for your own shortcomings is hardly a novel tactic, but it's not something we usually see an actual media company do. Particularly when there is no indication that any of the reporting was faulty.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.