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. People was originally inspired by Time’s People page.
On Hadden’s death in 1929, Luce became the dominant man at Time and a major figure in the history of 20th-century media.
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. Since 2000, the magazine has been part of AOL Time Warner, which subsequently reverted to the name Time Warner in 2003.
In the beginning of 2007, the year’s first issue was delayed for approximately a week due to “editorial changes”. The changes included the firing of 300 employees.