Meredith Corporation owns magazines including More, Parents and Better Homes and Gardens, which Meredith says is the largest monthly magazine in the U.S. It also doesn't have much of a foothold in the fashion space, where In Style is a leading title. Perhaps most importantly, Meredith's titles focus primarily on women, which means there would be a great crossover in terms of advertisers for Time Inc's titles like real Real Simple and People.
The real value would come from economies of scale. About a third of magazine expenses for a these types of magazines are content-related, while two-thirds are related to "scale-related costs" like printing and paper. And discounts on paper come with many magazines running on the same cycle—once or twice a month, or weekly.
Now that some of Time Warner's magazine business is in play, it could lure other potential buyers to the table.
For one, Conde Nast seems like a natural buyer. Its flagship publications include Vogue, Glamour, Allure, W, and Lucky, which draw a variety of fashion advertisers.
Conde Nast doesn't own anything similar to People, which serves the always-strong demand for celebrity gossip. Its parent Advance Publications raised $500 million in 2010 by selling stock it owned in Discovery. It also hired a mergers and acquisitions chief, Andrew Siegel, away from Yahoo to oversee strategy and corporate development. Siegel hasn't made any huge purchases just yet.
While sources tell me that Hearst is not interested, its female oriented titles like Cosmopolitan would have good crossover.
We'll be watching to see what transpires. Bewkes may not be looking to offload the titles, but at the right price, anything is for sale.
—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin; Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin