AOL Time Warner Inc. History

75 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10019

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

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:

The Warner brothers open their own movie theater in Newcastle, Pennsylvania.
The Warners produce their first film, Perils of the Plains.
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.
Briton Hadden and Henry Robinson Luce publish the first issue of Time magazine.
Hadden and Luce launch their second publication, the Saturday Review of Literature.
Warner Bros. acquires Vitagraph Studios in New York, launches Vitaphone joint venture.
Warner Bros. release The Jazz Singer and revolutionizes film history by introducing the "talkie."
Warner Bros. acquires Stanley-Crandall movie theater network
Time Inc. publishes the first issue of Fortune.
Company publishes the first issue of Life.
Warner Bros. is forced to sell off its movie theater network.
Company launches Sports Illustrated.
Company forms Time-Life Books, a book publishing subsidiary.
Jack Warner sells Warner Bros. to Seven Arts.
Kinney National Services acquires Warner Bros. (and renames itself Warner Communications in 1971).
Ted Turner acquires first television station in Atlanta, forming future Turner Broadcasting System.
Time ceases publication of Life; launches Home Box Office (HBO) cable TV network and Money magazine.
Company publishes first issue of People.
Turner renames his television station as Superstation TBS and begins supplying programming to cable television operators.
Time launches Cinemax cable TV network; TBS launches CNN.
Steve Case forms Quantum Computer Services, Inc. to provide online service for Commodore computer users.
Quantum introduces an online service for owners of IBM computers.
Quantum begins offering an online service for Apple computer users; introduces "America Online," a new nationwide network for computer owners.
Time Inc. acquires Warner Communications, forming Time Warner Inc.
Quantum Computer Services changes its name to America Online.
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.
AOL introduces an online service designed specifically for Windows users.
Time Warner acquires Turner Broadcasting System.
America Online acquires Internet service provider Compuserve.
AOL acquires Netscape, as well as MovieFone, Spinner, and NullSoft.
AOL acquires Time Warner in a $106 billion megamerger.
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, 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.