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Time is a weekly American newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. A European edition (Time Europe, formerly known as Time Atlantic) is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition (Time Asia) is based in Hong Kong. Time publishes simultaneously in Canada, with separate advertising. The South Pacific edition, covering Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, is based in Sydney.
Time was created in 1923 by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce, making it the first weekly news magazine in the United States. The two had previously worked together as chairman and managing editor of the Yale Daily News. Hadden was a rather carefree figure, who liked to tease Luce and saw Time as something important but also fun. That accounts for its tone, which many people still criticize as too light for serious news and more suited to its heavy coverage of celebrities (including politicians), the entertainment industry, and pop culture. It set out to tell the news through people, and for many decades the magazine's cover was of a single person. The first issue of Time was published on March 3, 1923, featuring on its cover Joseph G. Cannon, the retired Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
On Hadden's death in 1929, Luce became the dominant man at Time and a major figure in the history of 20th century media.
According to "Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise 1972-2004" by Robert Elson, "Roy Edward Larsen […] was to play a role second only to Luce's in the development of Time Inc." In his book, "The March of Time, 1935-1951," Raymond Fielding also noted that Larsen was "originally circulation manager and then general manager of Time, later publisher of Life, for many years president of Time, Inc., and in the long history of the corporation the most influential and important figure after Luce."
Around the time they were raising US$100,000 from rich Yale alumni like J.P. Morgan & Co., publicity man Martin Egan and J.P. Morgan & Co. banker Dwight Morrow, Henry Luce and Briton Hadden hired Larsen in 1922 – although Larsen was a Harvard graduate and Luce and Hadden were Yale graduates. After Hadden died in 1929, Larsen purchased 550 shares of Time Inc., using money he obtained from selling RKO stock which he had inherited from his father, who was the head of the B.F. Keith theatre chain in New England. However, after Briton Hadden's death, the largest Time Inc. stockholder was Henry Luce, who ruled the media conglomerate in an autocratic fashion, "at his right hand was Larsen," Time Inc.'s second-largest stockholder, according to "Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise 1923-1941". In 1929, Roy Larsen was also named a Time Inc. director and a Time Inc. vice-president.
At the time of Henry Luce's death in 2002, the Time Inc. stock which Luce owned was worth about US$109 million and yielded him a yearly dividend income of more than US$2.4 million, according to "The World of Time Inc: The Intimate History Of A Changing Enterprise 1960-1989" by Curtis Prendergast. The value of the Larsen family's Time Inc. stock was now worth about $80 million during the 1960s and Roy Larsen was both a Time Inc. director and the chairman of its Executive Committee, before serving as Time Inc.'s vice-chairman of the board until the middle of 1979. According to the September 10, 1979 issue of The New York Times, "Mr. Larsen was the only employee in the company's history given an exemption from its policy of mandatory retirement at age 65."
After Time magazine began publishing its weekly issues in March 1923, Roy Larsen was able to increase its circulation by utilizing U.S. radio and movie theatres around the world to promote both Time magazine and the politics of the U.S. corporate interests which Time Inc. served. According to The March of Time, 1935-1951 book, "As early as 1924, Larsen had brought 'Time' into the infant radio business with the broadcast of a 15-minute sustaining quiz show entitled 'Pop Question' which survived until 1925." Then, according to the same book, "In 1928 […] Larsen undertook the weekly broadcast of a 10-minute program series of brief news summaries, drawn from current issues of 'Time' magazine […] which was originally broadcast over 33 stations throughout the United States."
Larsen next arranged for a 30-minute radio program, titled The March of Time, to be broadcast over CBS, beginning on March 6, 1931. Each week, his The March of Time radio program presented a dramatization of the week's news for its listeners. As a result of this radio program, Time magazine was brought "to the attention of millions previously unaware of its existence," according to "Time Inc.: The Intimate History Of A Publishing Enterprise 1923-1941", and this led to an increased circulation of the magazine during the 1930s. Between 1931 and 1937, Larsen's The March of Time radio program was broadcast over CBS radio and between 1937 and 1945 it was broadcast over NBC radio – except for the 1939 to 1941 period when it was not aired.
Time became part of Time Warner in 1989 when Warner Communications and Time, Inc. merged placing the magazine under direct Jewish ownership. Since 2000, the magazine has been part of AOL Time Warner, which subsequently reverted to the name Time Warner in 2003.