Time Warner to Split AOL into Separate Company

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Time Warner plans to spin off AOL into a separate company. It's a move that's been expected for months and marks the end of an ill-fated media marriage. WNYC's Dan Blumberg reports.

In a joint statement, the CEO's of AOL and Time Warner say splitting into two companies will help both focus on their core businesses. For Time Warner, that means more attention to film, TV, and other content. For AOL it's a chance to restore luster to a brand that once defined the Internet for many users.

It was back in 2000 when the startup AOL stunned the world by announcing it would buy the venerable Time Warner to create the world's largest media company. But the $147 billion merger turned out to be an embarrassment, leading to lawsuits, declining sales, regulatory hurdles, and heavy losses. Eventually the very name AOL Time Warner was dropped in favor of simply "Time Warner."

Now both companies will have to figure out how to profit when advertisers are cutting back.