Time for Bewkes to Make It America Offline

Time Warner’s (TWX) hiring of Tim Armstrong to run AOL is, to misquote another Armstrong, a small step for AOL but a giant leap for Time Warner.

Whether or not the former Google (GOOG) executive can turn around the AOL business, his hiring clearly sets up AOL to be spun off. That is a step Time Warner must take, having wasted years trying to fix or find a buyer for AOL.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes shouldn’t dawdle in making the formal decision to spin off AOL.

Now that the Time Warner Cable spinoff is almost done, he has achieved tangible progress toward streamlining Time Warner into a more-defined entertainment business. A quick AOL spinoff would free up Mr. Bewkes to deal with the Time Inc. magazine business.

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