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AOL Forms MediaGlow

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NEW YORK Time Warner's AOL has formed MediaGlow, a new division that joins the ad sales-focused Platform A and the social media focused People Networks.

MediaGlow encompasses a collection of 70 niche content sites launched in recent years, ranging from AOL Health to nonbranded properties like TMZ.com. According to executive vp of programming for AOL Bill Wilson, it's these sites - which should number 100 by the end of 2009 -- which differentiate AOL from rivals Yahoo and MSN.

"We're not counting on our portal to drive traffic," said Wilson, who assumes the role of MediaGlow president, in an interview with Mediaweek. "That's such a difference from where we sat three years ago. We're really focusing on editorial voice...and we are focused on creating as many relevant starting points as possible. Others have different plans."

AOL's plans are obviously a long way away from its dial-up-subscription, walled-garden days. "We've said, how do we engage a new consumer on the open Web? We're really leaning into the fragmentation of the Web very aggressively," Wilson said. "Clearly we are doubling down here. This is a reinvention of AOL. It's a transformation of the company."