Time Inc. Staffers (Who Didn't Lose Jobs) Lose Cheap CDs

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The Time & Life Building Photo: Getty Images/AFP

As if a few hundred layoffs weren't bad enough, there's more bad news this week for Time Inc.-ers: The company announced it's shuttering the Time Inc. Bookstop, a fixture on the second floor of the Time & Life Building, in March. A company-wide memo noted that "many nearby and online shops" provide "alternatives for purchasing cards, books, music, and DVDs," which is true enough. But the Bookstop offered special prices on company merchandise and holds a special place in the hearts of those who recall that 1989 merger of Time Inc. and Warner Bros., when the store began selling CDs from all the Warner-affiliated record labels at absurdly low prices — as low as $6. No cash was required; by flashing their I.D. cards, company workers could stock up on old Neil Young or Talking Heads discs or pick up the latest from Madonna or Prince, and have the bill deducted directly from their next paycheck. But those days are gone, and Warner Bros. Records isn't even part of Time Warner anymore. Still, for anyone who ever worked there — including, disclosure, this reporter — it's a demise as saddening as Tower's. —David Browne