This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
Work in progress ... At his first earnings call as CEO, Jeff Bewkes said Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) Cable's fate would be determined by today and, sure enough, the announcement that TWC would be spun off completely came this morning. Bewkes kicked off the 1Q call by noting that the promise was kept and telling analysts and investors that TWX and TWC are close to an agreement on how the spin-off will be handled.
Time Inc.: Publishing was the one area affected by the economy, Bewkes said, but he pointed to online's performance as a highlight with online ad rev growing fast enough to offset print losses.
AOL: Bewkes started by stressing that he thinks the strategy to switch to ad-supported is on track and highlighting what he thinks is going rightthe third-party network and AOL's traffic gains with content vertical page views up 22 percent and a top-three rank in uniques. Despite gains, third-party network revenue continues to be affected by a change in its relationship with major customer Apollo (For the quarter, that income for Advertising.com dropped to $17 million from $56 million.) But Bewkes also was blunt about the flaws: "We were not satisfied with the performance of display advertising on our owned-and-operated network. ... We didn't integrate Platform-A fast enough .. and that led to sales-channel conflict." Both he and CFO John Martin said the recent management change in sales and other moves are already having an impact and they expect it to improve.
More to come
By Staci D. Kramer