Sure, about 450 Time Warner magazine workers will soon be jobless, but times are also tough for company executives: They just can't sell their company-sponsored private jets, and must continue to possess the posh mini-airliners. Such a bummer.
Time Warner's jets have been on the market since at least December 2008, nearly a year ago. That was just after Time Warner's Time Inc. announced the layoff of 600 staff. In February, we called on the media conglomerate to sell its four Gulfstreams, which we estimated were worth a combined $124 million, roughly, based on used jet listings at the time.
But all those jets are still registered in the company's name, according to FAA records; CityFile is reporting that the company still owns at least three of them, and has now echoed our suggestion that they be sold. Sure, it's a buyer's market for corporate jets, but Time Warner can't cut prices enough to move one of these? We wonder if the company isn't keeping prices high on purpose, a trick described by the Economist:
According to analysts at JPMorgan, asking prices for used jets actually rose by 3.4% in the year to November . Jonathan Breeze, chief executive of Jet Republic, a private-jet operator, suggests that some announcements that firms are selling their jets are "elaborate window dressing". By putting jets up for sale at a high price that ensures nobody will buy, companies can appear frugal-even as their bosses continue to fly as usual.
But we are having a hard time imagining media moguls putting their own personal status-symbol luxuries ahead of the welfare of their workers. Ha ha, kidding!