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After Nine Years, Time Warner to Split From AOL

In a long-expected move, Time Warner announced plans to spin off AOL into a publicly traded company, ending their nine-year run together. A Washington Post reporter explains the company's move.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Finally tonight, the end is near for what was once a very big deal. Jeffrey Brown has our Media Unit report.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    The merger of Time Warner and America Online in 2000 was widely touted as the ultimate marriage of traditional mass media and the new world of the Internet. It was also, at the time, the biggest corporate merger in history.

    Time Warner was then the world's largest media and entertainment company, with holdings including CNN, Time magazine, and the Warner Brothers movie and TV studios.

  • AOL SOUND EFFECT:

    You've got mail!

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    AOL was then the largest online company, providing more than 20 million subscribers with access to the Internet. After the merger rollout, AOL's Steve Case and Time Warner's Gerald Levin spoke on the NewsHour about the promise of their new venture.

  • STEVE CASE, Former CEO, America Online:

    We've always known it was a powerful idea, bringing these companies together. We always knew it could have a profound impact on consumers' lives, in terms of improving the way they get information, how they communicate, how they buy products, how they're entertained. And after spending a couple of days taking it beyond the deal stage into the reality of how we can make this work, I think we're more excited than ever.

    GERALD LEVIN, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner: Well, what's really happening now is we've seen two strands, one through the P.C. and one through the television set. And both have different histories, and they're at a certain state in their development. And this overused word of "convergence" is, in fact, about to happen.

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