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Just last night over drinks in Orlando a media executive, who knows I was associated with Life for many years but has not mag ties himself, asked me why Time Inc. didn’t just focus on Life’s photography and forget efforts like the weekly newspaper insert. The Life brand and legacy could be the draw for a photo-centric website, he argued, wondering why they had never managed to do just that. This morning brings news that Time Inc. is going to do just that — shutter the newspaper insert, which never came close — and wasn’t intended to — the Life weekly of days gone by, and will focus on various digital platforms as well as books.
Online plans already in progress call for a major portal to launch later this year; the plan is to get its entire collection of 10 million photos online. From the release: “The most important collection of imagery covering the events and the people of the 20th century will be made available to the public for personal use at no cost. More than 97 percent of this collection has never been seen by the public and contains the works of such master photographers as Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White and Gordon Parks, among others.”