Acknowledging that its deal to sell its Time Inc. publishing division to Meredith Corp. had come undone, Time Warner said on Wednesday that it will spin off the struggling unit. In a statement, Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeffrey L. Bewkes said: As you know, Time Warner successfully completed similar separations in the past few years with Time Warner Cable and AOL. Both of those companies have thrived independently, and I anticipate the same for Time Inc. The deal with Meredith would have turned over some of Time Inc.'s publications to the publisher of mostly female-oriented titles but kept the company's standard bearers, like Time, Fortune, and People. Today's (Thursday) Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the situation, said that in the end the company decided that the benefits of a complete spin-off were greater than selling off some of the titles to Meredith. The result, said Bewkes, will enable the pared-down Time Warner to focus entirely on our television networks and film and TV production businesses. Questions remained, however, about whether Time Inc. will be able to survive in an increasingly threatening digital environment. And will Time Warner, which dropped AOL from its title when it spun off the online service, will also remove Time, thereby reverting to the Warner Bros. company name that was first registered 90 years ago.