Time-Warner spins off AOL, restoring order to the universe

Did you see this news?

Time Warner to spin off AOL, ending ill-fated deal

By RACHEL METZ – AP Technology Writer
NEW YORK — Time Warner Inc. is dumping AOL after spending nearly a decade trying to build a new-age media empire only to wind up in a weaker position than when the marriage began.

The divorce, announced Thursday, will spin out AOL as a separate company run by former Google Inc. advertising executive Tim Armstrong. He was hired in March to try to restore the luster to a brand once known as America Online.

Although AOL has been eclipsed by Google and other Internet stars, Armstrong still can try to build on a wide-reaching online ad network as well as AOL’s Web sites, which remain a relatively big draw.

I’ve always looked at the deal where AOL essentially bought Time-Warner as the ultimate example of the Dot.Com bubble’s madness. And this isn’t me as an old-media guy being phobic about new media. The problem was that AOL was lame new media. I mean, AOL wasn’t anywhere near the cutting edge of dot.com at the time, but rather a relic of the early dialup days of the PC. It was, as I recall, actually sort of late to the Web.

And here it was swallowing Time-Life and Warner Brothers and cable TV and all those old media giants, which still had demonstrable value. It just didn’t make any kind of sense.

And now, for some time, Time-Warner has been trying to rid itself of the death-grip of AOL. Which for me, sort of restores some order to the universe.

8 thoughts on “Time-Warner spins off AOL, restoring order to the universe

  1. laurin

    Man, I remember when we used to get an AOL installation floppy disk in the mail like every day. And there were giant bins of them at WalMart.

  2. Brad Warthen

    Yep. And they had a nice business going — until everybody figured out that you could get a billion times as much information and utility directly from the Web WITHOUT the AOL interface…

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    Everybody except my dad. He still loves to quote AOL news to me.

    The first question they were trained to ask at the AOL help desk was “Do you have a computer?” Apparently so many people took the CDs and put them in a CD player and couldn’t figure out why they weren’t on the Web!

  4. Herb Brasher

    Now if AOL would just spin itself right out of existence, I think we all would be helped. Its files stick to a computer like a leech . . . .

  5. Burl Burlingame

    Reminds me of when Naval Institute Press took all the money they made off of “Hunt for Red October” and invested in creating CD-ROMS of naval information they wanted to sell for $500 each — right when the data became available for free online.

  6. bud

    I had AOL once. It worked ok I suppose but what bugged me was how difficult it was to cancel my plan. I thought I’d never be able to get rid of them. I certainly hope The State won’t be as difficult to cancel. I’ve fianally convince my wife that it should go.

Comments are closed.