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Guide to the Time Inc. Discover Publishing and Business Records: Publisher Bruce Barnet Files
1980-1987
 MS 3009-RG 43

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Holly Deakyne

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on February 23, 2021 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical Note

The popular science magazine Discover was created via task force outside of the Magazine Development Group and first published in 1980. Time Inc. sold  Discover to Family Media, Inc. in 1987.

For the majority of Time Inc.'s existence, the company maintained a strict separation of editorial from the publishing and business side of each magazine, colloquially called the separation of "church" (editorial) and "state" (publishing). Publishing and Business Management includes the publisher, general manager, business manager, advertising sales, marketing services, letters, circulation, and public relations. Cofounder Henry Luce structured Time Inc. this way so that the business side could not (in theory) influence the editorial content of the publications. For example, the advertising sales people could not interfere with a magazine's decision to run an article on the dangers of cigarette smoking, even though it might mean losing millions of dollars in tobacco ads.

Biographical Note

Bruce Barnet was final Circulation Director of Life. He also held positions with Time-Life Films,  Fortune publishing, and the Magazine Development Group (MDG) publishing. After serving in the MDG, the  Discover board appointed him as publisher specifically to "take a hard look at the business potential for the magazine." Ultimately Barnet recommended in a report to the board that Time Inc. sell  Discover. After the 1987 sale, Barnet was promoted to Vice President of Planning for the Magazine Group.