Addressing a room of investors at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia Conference here Wednesday, Parsons said the company is focused on operations at AOL and not structural changes, adding that there was no timetable for a spinoff of Time Warner Cable.
On AOL, Parsons said the company is in a state of transition and the focus is on the execution of that strategy. AOL is moving from a subscription Internet-access model to a free ad-based model and at the same time building up its Internet-marketing services. The company has spent $500 million in acquisitions of marketing and Internet-service companies, and it announced earlier this week that it was rolling them up into a new division called Platform A.
“Those are big executional challenges given where we are coming from with AOL and the speed at which the industry is moving and the competition,” Parsons said. “So that’s were the focus is, not on doing something structural with AOL.”
On the cable front, Parsons said Time Warner is not “closed-minded” to the argument of spinning off cable, recognizing its resonance in the marketplace. Time Warner Cable, he added, will eventually become a “multifunctional” telecommunications platform that will require more flexibility. He said the company will take a “hard look” at it but offered no timetable as to when a spinoff of cable might be. He also noted that there remain a number of beneficial synergies between the cable company and the content side of the business.
Parsons also gave no timetable for when chief operating officer Jeff Bewkes would take the reins of the company.