Legal changes at TIME as News Corp veteran steps in prior to spinoff from Time Warner

The former general counsel of News Corporation Lon Jacobs has taken up the top legal role at Time magazine as current GC Maurice Edelson jumps to owner Time Warner.

The changes come as the media conglomerate, which currently owns Time magazine, plans to spinoff its Time publishing unit. The publishing arm is expected to start life on its own from early 2014, leaving Time Warner to focus its strategy on its TV business.

The move has opened up a number of opportunities for the respective in-house legal teams. Edelson, who has been general counsel of Time magazine since 2007, is now deputy general counsel of Time Warner and will assist in the legal and structural separation of the magazine unit from its owner.  

Lon Jacobs will fill Edelson’s shoes at Time. He worked for News Corporation for 15 years, from in 1996 to 2011, and is understood to have been one of seven executives who served in CEO Rupert Murdoch’s office. He resigned from the role in 2011, during the time of the News International phone hacking scandal. 

Since then he is understood to have held various advisory roles, most recently serving as general counsel to the Empire State department.

The move follows various in-house legal changes in the publishing world over recent weeks, most recently with the PA Group naming The Economist’s senior legal counsel Stephen Godsell as group general counsel (28 October 2013).

That hire followed an appointment by in-flight entertainment provider Global Eagle, which named former London-based News International lawyer, Jay Itzkowitz, as its general counsel (22 October 2013).