Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Iowa-based media company Meredith Corp. has revived its takeover efforts for magazine publisher Time Inc., with the help of more than $500 million in promised equity backing from Charles and David Koch.

Why it matters: The Koch Brothers are billionaire industrialists better known for their conservative political activism. Their possible ownership take in Time Inc. would prompt questions about the editorial independence of news publications like Time and Fortune.

Scoop credit: The New York Times was first with the news.

Background: The idea of a Time Inc. takeover appeared to have died earlier this year, and Meredith's past interest always seemed to be more about Time Inc.'s lifestyle brands (e.g., People, Real Simple, etc.) than its news brands (e.g., Time, SI, Fortune, etc.). But game back on, and the Koch Brothers' surprise involvement suggests that Meredith would be willing to buy the entire package.

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. It launched an over-the-top streaming channel for Sports Illustrated yesterday.

Caution: Time Inc. shares surged more than 21% in aftermarket trading on the news, boosting its enterprise value north of $2.4 billion. But that's still well below the company's value back in Q1, when Time Inc. was in the midst of an acknowledged auction process.

Bottom line: "There are lots of rich, powerful men in the U.S. But there are only a handful of big, powerful media companies. If you're trying to get your messages across to a lot of people, even a declining one might seem attractive." — Peter Kafka, Recode

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 33,495,373 — Total deaths: 1,004,314 — Total recoveries: 23,259,632Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m ET: 7,186,527 — Total deaths: 205,895 — Total recoveries: 2,809,674 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  7. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

Misinformation thrives on social media ahead of presidential debate

Joe Biden speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sept. 27. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

A baseless conspiracy theory that Joe Biden would wear an electronic device in his ear during the first presidential debate on Tuesday went viral on social media hours before the event.

Why it matters: The conspiracy originated on social media before appearing in a text message sent by President Trump’s re-election campaign to supporters. It was then regurgitated by media outlets like Fox News and New York Post, who cited the Trump campaign, throughout the day, according to NBC News.

Amy Coney Barrett says Trump offered her nomination 3 days after Ginsburg's death

Barrett speaks after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House. Photo:; Olivier Douliery/AFP

Amy Coney Barrett said in a questionnaire released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that President Trump offered her the Supreme Court nomination on Sept. 21, five days before he announced the pick to the public.

Why it matters: According to the questionnaire, Trump offered Barrett the nomination just three days after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, suggesting that the president knew early on that Barrett was his pick. Minutes after offering Barrett the nomination, however, Trump told reporters that he had not made up his mind and that five women were on the shortlist.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!