Bewkes May Break Up Time Warner, Says Report
Incoming Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes is likely to movie quickly to dismantle the company by spinning off Time Warner Cable and selling AOL and Time Inc., according to Bloomberg News. Such a move would leave the company principally with its Warner Bros. and New Line film studios, its Turner Broadcasting cable networks, and HBO. The wire service quoted two financial analysts, Chris Marangi of Gamco Investors and Daniel Poole of National City Bank as saying that such a strategy would lift the company's stock, which has remained stagnant since Richard Parsons pulled it out of its tailspin five years ago. "The company is much better off today, but the stock hasn't gone anywhere," Poole told Bloomberg. "It's been very frustrating." Marangi suggested that by becoming the world's largest media company, Time Warner has become unwieldy. "There's nothing special necessarily about being the biggest,'' Marangi said. "It's more important to be nimble." Ironically, Bewkes is likely to look favorably on billionaire Carl Icahn's proposals for lifting the company's stock -- proposals that were successfully opposed by Parsons. Bloomberg noted that during a Nov. 7 conference call, Bewkes remarked, "We will be looking at anything that improves our strategic advantage."