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Rediff.com  » Business » AOL Time Warner Drops AOL From Name

AOL Time Warner Drops AOL From Name

September 19, 2003 09:32 IST

After weeks of speculation, AOL Time Warner's board of directors okayed the proposal to change the company's name back to Time Warner on Thursday.

The change will 'take effect within a few weeks,' The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The media titan came into being two years ago when America Online, America's bestknown Internet brand, merged with the old media Time Warner group, owners of Time, Fortune and People among other best-selling magazines, CNN and Warner Bros.
  
The honeymoon lasted only a few months and Wall Street analysts quickly dubbed it a marriage conceived in hell as neither side of the alliance figured out how the other's business worked.
 
'As the dot-com bubble burst, America Online's business began to collapse, causing resentment among Time Warner executives who believed they'd been suckered into a merger with a company that wasn't living up to its promises,' the Wall Street Journal said.

What perhaps drove the final nail in the coffin was the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation into AOL's accounting methods, which led to the company stock dropping down to the lower depths, a fate unimaginable for AOL, once Wall Street's darling. Time Warner executives aggressively began to take control of the company last year, leading to the exit of many AOL stalwarts including founder and AOL Time Warner chairman, the legendary Steve Case.

'We believe our new name better reflects the portfolio of our valuable businesses and ends any confusion between our corporate name and the America Online brand name for our investors, partners and the public,' Chairman and Chief Executive Richard  Parsons said after the board meeting. 'Today, all of our businesses -- from America Online, Warner Bros Entertainment, New Line Cinema, TBS and CNN to Time Warner Cable, HBO, Time Inc, The WB and Warner Music Group -- are making important contributions to the whole company.'
       
Interestingly, AOL executives, the Wall Street Journal said, had pushed for 'AOL' to be dropped from the company's name. America Online Chief Executive Jonathan Miller, the newspaper reported, 'argued that the online services' consumer-targeted brand is being harmed by negative press reports about the corporate parent's woes.'