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AP

Meredith Corp., the Iowa-based media company, will purchase Time Inc. for $18.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.8 billion, according to a statement. Roughly one quarter of the deal value ($650 million) is being financed by Koch Equity Development (KED), the investment arm of Koch Industries, run by Republican mega-donors Charles and David Koch.Why it matters: Backing from the Koch brothers will likely prompt questions about the editorial independence of Time Inc.'s news properties, like Time Magazine and Fortune. In a statement, Meredith Corporation said KED will not have a seat on the Meredith Board and will have "no influence on Meredith's editorial or managerial operations."

Aside from any potential political incentives, a merger also helps Meredith expand its lifestyle content footprint. (Meredith owns several lifestyle magazines, like Better Homes and Gardens and Country Life, while Time Inc. owns People and Sports Illustrated.)The buildup: Time Inc. rejected a Meredith Inc. bid earlier this year — its second major takeover rejection since last November, when it turned down at $1.8 billion bid from an investor group that included billionaire Edgar Bronfman Jr. Like many media companies with large print portfolios, Time has been focused on ways to sell some of those properties and to focus on digital opportunities. Its competitors are also pursuing similar lifestyle mergers. Just last month, Hearst acquired lifestyle magazine company Rodale Inc.Go deeper: This move is another example an of how rapid consolidation in the media sector has created more opportunities for partisan influencers to expand their reach.

Go deeper

Updated 13 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

14 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.