THE GLOBE AND MAIL, THESTREET.COM, Others.  April 9, 2013.  Peter Kreisky, who has been advising media companies on strategy for more than 25 years, calls the company’s No. 1 title, People magazine, one of the most successful yet underleveraged brands in the business. Kreisky says he is guardedly optimistic Time Inc. can figure out how to increase sales as a standalone company but, frankly, he is not sure…

Considering the size of its exposure, Kreisky said People hasn’t done enough to make itself as ubiquitous within the cultural zeitgeist as it could be. For much of the late 20th century, the 39-year-old weekly all but owned the category of celebrity news/wild-and-crazy-things-that-happen-to-ordinary-people.  But times have changed. now goes head to head with flashier, racier and sexier Web sites such as TMZdlistedCelebitchy and DrunkenStepfather.

“Time Inc.’s source of strategic leverage has historically been scale,” Kreisky said. “That only applies when you put a ringed fence around the industry. But that ringed fence has been breached by the new digital competitors. Leadership by the old measures is increasingly irrelevant.”

Kreisky says the company may be forced to close titles that aren’t the No. 1 or No. 2 in their category.

Turning around or redefining Time Inc. isn’t an easy task. Yet, guideposts exist.  Kreisky points to The Economist and the Atlantic as older magazines – one a weekly, the other a monthly – which have been successfully remade for the modern-day user. The Economist , for one, could have degenerated into your (grand)father’s magazine – but it didn’t. The same goes for the Atlantic , which went full bore on columnists and made subjects such on urban planning surprisingly sexy. The Atlantics new online business magazine, Quartz, is smart and polished.