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AOLTW: YOU’VE GOT MOGULS!
Case, Levin, Pittman, Parsons, Turner
Carve Up The Pie
The powers-to-be behind the prposed AOL-Time Warner juggernaut gave us mere mortals a peek into the media behemoth's organizational structure yesterday.

AOL Chieftain Steve Case and Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin decreed that in addition to taking reports from execs at the free-standing AOL, the online leader's President/COO Bob Pittman would, as co-COO of the combined entity, oversee Time Warner cable networks (including HBO, CNN, Time Warner Cable and the WB) as well as publishing stalwart Time Inc.

TW Prexy Richard Parsons, meanwhile—crowned the other Co-COO—will rule Warner Music Group as well as Warner Bros. film studio, New Line Cinema and Time Warner Trade Publishing.

Ted Turner, meanwhile, will remain as Vice Chairman and "senior adviser" but will have sharply curtailed supervisory duties. Good thing there are so damn many action flicks on the Superstation.

AOL Interactive ruler Barry Schuler will assume the mantle of Chairman/Chief Executive of AOL Inc.

Levin told Reuters that the proposed distribution of responsibilities "has nothing to do with whether you are AOL or Time Warner," adding that the division "made logical sense to me. It plays to Bob's strengths and Parson's strengths. We have emphasized that speed and collaboration are the watchwords of the new company. Now can someone please show me how to make those delightful hamsters dance on my computer screen?"

While the mainstream press spin on the distribution of duties at the pending media powerhouse has Pittman's fiefdom outshining that of his fellow Co-COO, some observers were surprised to find that the AOL exec inherited no music duties whatsoever.

Parsons' music role will be highlighted immediately as AOL and WMG collaborate on a promotion for the new matchbox twenty album. Copies of the Melisma/Lava/Atlantic album, which streets 5/23, will feature AOL software and trial subscription offer, AOL-owned Spinner and WinAmp digital music players (the latter with a custom matchbox twenty "skin") and a link to a band Web site.

Though WMG's other big upcoming consummation—its merger with EMI—awaits confirmation, insiders don't foresee any serious regulatory hangups. But TW's recent dust-up with Disney over the brief ABC blackout on TW-controlled cable networks awakened the interest of several Congresspeople. Apparently, the creation of a gigantic media company with the potential to dominate virtually every entertainment format is fine, as long as middle America isn't prevented from viewing "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire."

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