Finally, AOL/Time Warner merger yields fruit…

…it’s just that no one ever expected it to be “Chico and the Man.”

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After a $45 billion write-down, a $300 million fraud settlement with the SEC and another $210 million in fines to end a criminal investigation by the U.S. Dept. of Justice over its accounting, AOL has finally provided Time Warner something other than massive headaches.

True, the AOL-Time Warner merger is the benchmark for Worst Deal in History and still holds the title for the largest corporate losses ever, but there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel:

Set to launch in January, Time Warner’s In2TV service will make available some 300 TV shows (roughly 14,000 episodes) made by Warners TV, available on-demand for free with advertising.

The move creates, Variety says,

a revenue stream for library titles that have largely exhausted their potential in syndication and on DVD…On the Net unlike on cable, an infinite number of shows can potentially be made available. Thus, even if they appeal to a small audience, skeins can live on, and earn money, forever online.

Now if I can just get the theme from “Welcome Back Kotter” out of my head for a second…