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No More 'AOL' in Time Warner Name

September 18, 2003|Edmund Sanders | Times Staff Writer

The company that once liked to bill itself as the "world's first Internet-powered media giant" is ditching its online moniker.

At a monthly meeting today, AOL Time Warner Inc.'s board of directors is expected to approve dropping AOL from the corporate name.

It's the latest, and perhaps final, sign that America Online's much-ballyhooed acquisition of Time Warner has been turned on its head, with the entertainment company dominating the online service. It also caps one of the most troubled corporate mergers in U.S. history.

The name change would take about six weeks to complete, officials said. The rechristened Time Warner will use its old stock trading symbol, TWX.

The name change has been a foregone conclusion since last month, when America Online chief Jonathan Miller told AOL Time Warner Chairman Richard D. Parsons he believed that the online unit's brand image was being clouded by its association with the parent company and its other units, ranging from sports teams to television networks.

"It signals the end of an era," said Denise Garcia, analyst at Gartner G2 in New York.

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