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"Over the last five years, it has become even clearer to me how much personal satisfaction I derive from these [philanthropic] activities. Therefore, I would like to now devote even more time, effort and resources to them."
——Ted Turner, on leaving as Vice Chairman of AOLTW

TED TURNS THE PAGE AT AOLTW

Colorful, Controversial AOL Time Warner Vice Chairman Steps Down
Media mogul Ted Turner announced today that he will step down as Vice Chairman of AOL Time Warner, effective at the Annual Shareholders Meeting in May.

In notifying CEO Dick Parsons yesterday, Turner said, "After much reflection, I have decided to resign from my executive duties as Vice Chairman of AOL Time Warner. I have not come to this decision lightly. As you know, this company has been a significant part of my life for over 50 years. I have the deepest respect for you, the senior management and my fellow members of the board. With this team in place, I am optimistic that the company will be able to move forward and reach its true potential.

"As you know, I have devoted much of my life to philanthropic interests and, more recently, to several socially responsible business efforts," he continued. "Over the last five years, it has become even clearer to me how much personal satisfaction I derive from these activities. Therefore, I would like to now devote even more time, effort and resources to them."

Parsons said: "I speak for everybody in our company when I say how profoundly grateful we are to Ted Turner for his vision and genius, and how proud we will always be of his courageous and pioneering spirit. Ted's leadership role in the formation of global media in general and AOL Time Warner in particular is uniquely significant. His values of journalistic independence and public service are a permanent part of who we are and what we do. I will continue to rely on Ted's wisdom and advice and know that it will serve our company well in the years to come."

Turner’s resignation comes on the heels of AOL Time Warner posting a 2002 loss of nearly $100 billion, the largest annual loss in U.S. corporate history, after taking a whopping $45.5 billion charge in the fourth quarter to write down the value of assets.

The company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $44.9 billion, or $10.04 a share, after taking the non-cash charge to write down the value of its embattled AOL business and other assets. That compared to a year-ago loss of $1.8 billion, or 41 cents a share.

Shares of AOL fell to $13 in after-hours trade, closing at $13.96 in regular New York Stock Exchange trade.

Turner is the latest top executive, and a key architect of the AOL-Time Warner deal, to leave the fold. Just over a year ago, Gerald Levin quit as Chief Executive of the combined company after clashing with Chairman Steve Case. Last summer, Robert Pittman, the former America Online President, quit amid increasing criticism of his management style from executives within the Time Warner divisions. After Pittman left, pressure mounted on Case to quit. Case resigned two weeks ago.

Turner, known as "the mouth from the South," is AOL's largest individual shareholder and the originator of 24-hour news network CNN. Turner as of the end of July held about 122 million AOL shares.

He had told cable television executives in November 2001 that he felt sidelined by AOL Time Warner when he was replaced in January 2001 as head of Turner Broadcasting Systems, the unit that includes CNN.

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