Time Warner to spin off cable division

May 5, 2008

Time Warner said last week that it will completely spin off its cable company — Time Warner Cable — essentially shedding the profitable division that has been responsible for much of the company’s recent fortune.

Jeffrey L. Bewkes, who became chief executive in January, succeeding Richard D. Parsons, said the company would become a pure content provider, revolving around two core content businesses: the Warner Brothers movie studio and Turner Networks, which includes the television channels TNT, TBS, HBO and CNN.

Bewkes signaled that Time Warner would compete more directly with the broadcast networks for viewers and advertising dollars. “We believe Turner is now positioned better than ever to challenge the broadcast networks,” he said in a conference call with reporters.

AOL, the Internet division owned by Time Warner, is still a question mark for Bewkes, who has been in discussions about a possible deal to combine it with Yahoo, which itself has been fighting off a bid from Microsoft.

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