AOL Time Warner Inc. History

Address:
75 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10019
U.S.A.

Telephone: (212) 484-8000
Fax: (212) 489-6183

Website:
Public Company
Incorporated: 2001
Employees: 88,500
Sales: $40.96 billion (2002)
Stock Exchanges: New York
Ticker Symbol: AOL
NAIC: 514191 On-Line Information Services; 541519 Other Computer Related Services; 512110 Motion Picture and Video Production; 512120 Motion Picture and Video Distribution (pt); 511120 Periodical Publishers (pt); 511130 Book Publishers; 513210 Cable Networks; 513120 Television Broadcasting; 334612 Prerecorded Compact Disc (Except Software), Tape, and Record Reproducing (pt); 711211 Sports Teams and Clubs

Company Perspectives:

Our Mission is to become the world's most respected and valued company by connecting, informing and entertaining people everywhere in innovative ways that will enrich their lives.

Key Dates:

1903:
The Warner brothers open their own movie theater in Newcastle, Pennsylvania.
1911:
The Warners produce their first film, Perils of the Plains.
1915:
Sam and Jack Warner move to Los Angeles, setting up film production studios, while Harry and Albert Warner set up distribution company in New York.
1923:
Briton Hadden and Henry Robinson Luce publish the first issue of Time magazine.
1924:
Hadden and Luce launch their second publication, the Saturday Review of Literature.
1925:
Warner Bros. acquires Vitagraph Studios in New York, launches Vitaphone joint venture.
1927:
Warner Bros. release The Jazz Singer and revolutionizes film history by introducing the "talkie."
1929:
Warner Bros. acquires Stanley-Crandall movie theater network
1930:
Time Inc. publishes the first issue of Fortune.
1936:
Company publishes the first issue of Life.
1949:
Warner Bros. is forced to sell off its movie theater network.
1954:
Company launches Sports Illustrated.
1961:
Company forms Time-Life Books, a book publishing subsidiary.
1966:
Jack Warner sells Warner Bros. to Seven Arts.
1969:
Kinney National Services acquires Warner Bros. (and renames itself Warner Communications in 1971).
1970:
Ted Turner acquires first television station in Atlanta, forming future Turner Broadcasting System.
1972:
Time ceases publication of Life; launches Home Box Office (HBO) cable TV network and Money magazine.
1974:
Company publishes first issue of People.
1976:
Turner renames his television station as Superstation TBS and begins supplying programming to cable television operators.
1980:
Time launches Cinemax cable TV network; TBS launches CNN.
1985:
Steve Case forms Quantum Computer Services, Inc. to provide online service for Commodore computer users.
1988:
Quantum introduces an online service for owners of IBM computers.
1989:
Quantum begins offering an online service for Apple computer users; introduces "America Online," a new nationwide network for computer owners.
1990:
Time Inc. acquires Warner Communications, forming Time Warner Inc.
1991:
Quantum Computer Services changes its name to America Online.
1992:
Time Warner forms Time Warner Entertainment subsidiary to house its cable companies; America Online (AOL) makes an initial public offering, announces an alliance with Apple Computer.
1993:
AOL introduces an online service designed specifically for Windows users.
1996:
Time Warner acquires Turner Broadcasting System.
1998:
America Online acquires Internet service provider Compuserve.
1999:
AOL acquires Netscape, as well as MovieFone, Spinner, and NullSoft.
2001:
AOL acquires Time Warner in a $106 billion megamerger.
2003:
Company proposes dropping "AOL" from its name.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Barakat, Michael, "America Online's Goal Is 'AOL Anywhere,'" St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 11, 2000, p. B8.
  • Bianco, Anthony, and Tom Lowry, "Can Dick Parsons Rescue AOL Time Warner?," Business Week, May 19, 2003.
  • Brown, Rich, "Viacom, Time Warner Bury the Hatchet," Broadcasting, August 24, 1992.
  • Bruck, Connie, Master of the Game: Steve Ross and the Creation of Time Warner, New York: Viking Penguin, 1995.
  • Elson, Robert T., Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise--1923-1941, New York: Athenaeum, 1968.
  • ------, The World of Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise--1941-1960, New York: Athenaeum, 1973.
  • Eng, Paul M., "America Online Is Hooked Up for Growth," Business Week, June 21, 1993.
  • Fabrikant, Geraldine, "Time Warner Shows Gains As It Shrinks Merger's Debt," New York Times, February 9, 1993.
  • Fass, Allison, "AOL Time Over?," Forbes, June 23, 2003, p. 49.
  • Gunther, Marc, "The Internet Is Mr. Case's Neighborhood," Fortune, March 30, 1998, pp. 68-77.
  • Higgins, John M., "Black Ink, Slow Growth at Time Warner," Multichannel News, April 27, 1992.
  • "Internet Riders," Economist, November 28, 1998, pp. 63-64.
  • Loomis, Carol J., "Why AOL's Accounting Problems Keep Popping Up," Fortune, April 28, 2003, p. 85.
  • Miller, Michael W., "Tycoon Is Tapping into Online Service," Wall Street Journal, May 24, 1993.
  • Prendergast, Curtis, and Geoffrey Colvin, The World of Time Inc.: The Intimate History of a Changing Enterprise--1960-1980, New York: Athenaeum, 1986.
  • Ramo, Joshua Cooper, John Greenwald, and Michael Krantz, "How AOL Lost the Battles but Won the War," Time, September 22, 1997, pp. 46-54.
  • Schwartz, Evan I., "For America Online, Nothing Is As Nice As a Niche," Business Week, September 14, 1992.
  • Shook, David, "Will Cable Be AOL's Lifeline?," Business Week, March 10, 2003.
  • Siklos, Richard, et al., "Welcome to the 21st Century: With One Stunning Stroke, AOL and Time Warner Create a Colossus and Redefine the Future," Business Week, January 24, 2000, p. 36.
  • Swisher, Kara, AOL.com: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads, and Made Millions in the War for the Web, New York: Crown Publishing Group, 1999.
  • "Time Warner Refinances $6.2B Debt," Multichannel News, May 18, 1992.
  • Wooten, Terry, Planet AOL: From "Anywhere" to "Everywhere" with Time Warner and Beyond, New York: Prentice Hall Press, 2001.
  • Yang, Catherine, et al., "Richard Parsons Leaps the First Hurdle," Business Week, May 19, 2003.
  • ------, "Show Time for AOL Time Warner," Business Week, January 15, 2001, p. 56.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 57. St. James Press, 2004.