20090930

AOL, Time, Warner

AOL keeps shopping at Google to prepare its spin off from Time Warner : Shashi Seth will be Senior VP of Global Advertising Products, serving under President Jeff Levick (formerly Google) and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong (formerly Google). AOL itself shall relocate its headquarters in Mountain View, CA (always Google).

Still mother company Time Warner is expected to get rid of its other "half" : a Capital Group director gave more than a few hints about a Time Inc. spin off, leaving basically Warner on its own.

OK. Warner Brothers (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Inc. - wbie.com ) still have many gems, HBO, CNN, Warner Brothers Games or the newly formed DC Entertainment Inc., a superhero vehicle to counter the Disney-Marvel League. Furthermore, getting rid of paper along with the industry's massive (but everyday more cashless) flow now could land them on a green paper mattress of around half a dozen billion bucks or more (why not from Google, now that lifeless LIFE Magazine archives are on Google Books ?).

TIME may be struggling, the brand remains... timeless. And the Warner group would be brandless : its umbrella has already been torn away in 2004, when Warner Music Group left. That day, Edgar Bronfman, Jr. made a comeback Steve Case will never try - too much involved in mortarizing his native Hawai'i thanks to his clickally owned billions, and in his Case Foundation (basically, a foundation fundraising enabler - fooled me once...).

All major media / entertainment groups need to refocus, but this major is not really keeping a... major. I mean they more into distribution than media, more into production than creation, more into rights and franchises management than brand management. Harry Potter is a beautiful franchise and the final (double) movie will probably break all records but it's not as if they owned it. And Harry will neither resuscitate Warner, nor resuscitate, period.

Don't worry. Warner will stay afloat for awhile*. But I hope they have other ambitions than exposing "Adult Swim" to entertain us.


* particularly if they keep discarding BUs... need a broom with a (Mountain) view ?



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