Tech mogul Marc Benioff blows shofar, buys Time magazine


(JTA) — Tech executive Marc Benioff began a week in which he and his wife  Lynne announced plans to buy Time magazine by blowing the shofar at his San Francisco synagogue.

Benioff sounded the ram’s horn during Rosh Hashanah services at Congregation Emanu-El, a 168-year-old Reform temple. The New York Times reported that Benioff, backed by a guitarist, blew a long, curved shofar before heading with other congregants to a nearby beach to take part in tashlich, the annual casting away of sins.

On Sunday, Benioff and his wife announced that he was buying the fabled news magazine for $190 million.

Benioff, 54, is the CEO of SalesForce, a cloud computing company with a popular customer relationship management system, or CRM. On Sunday, he posted on Twitter that he is proud to “steward” the iconic newsweekly.

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“The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all,” he tweeted. “A treasure trove of our history & culture. We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand.”

Time, which was founded 95 years ago, was the most prominent American news magazine of the 20th century. But it has struggled along with other print media recently, and is down to 2.3 million print subscribers from 3 million just last year (and 20 million in its heyday). Its parent company, Time Inc., was bought last year by Meredith Corp., which sold the magazine to Benioff.

Benioff, who founded SalesForce in 1999, is outspokenly liberal, but has said he will not get involved in the magazine’s editorial operations.

His purchase is the latest foray of tech wealth into the media world. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, owns The Washington Post, and Lauren Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, controls a majority stake in The Atlantic.

Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, bought The New Republic, a political magazine, in 2012 and sold it several years later.

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