AOL Cut From Time Warner Name

NEW YORK The AOL Time Warner board of directors today voted to rename the company Time Warner.

The New York-based company expects to complete the transition, including the adoption of the “TWX” ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange, in the next few weeks.

The name change comes two-and-a-half years after the old and new media marriage of Time Warner and America Online. Instead of buoying Time Warner’s business, as was expected at the time the merger was announced in early 2000, AOL has pulled down the media giant’s earnings.

The struggling online division’s second-quarter revenue dropped 6 percent to $2.1 billion, as its ad revenue plummeted 48 percent versus the year-ago period [IQ Daily Briefing, July 24]. Furthermore, the Securities and Exchange Commission continues to investigate a range of past transactions at AOL.

“We believe that our new name better reflects the portfolio of our valuable businesses and ends any confusion between our corporate names and the America Online brand name for our investors, partners and the public,” explained AOL Time Warner chairman and CEO Dick Parsons in a statement. The company also owns Warner Bros. Entertainment, New Line Cinema, TBS, CNN, Time Warner Cable, HBO, Time Inc., The WB and Warner Music Group.

Shares in AOL Time Warner (AOL) closed today at $16.45, up 14 cents. The stock’s 52-week high is $17.89 and 52-week low is $9.90.