A lot of people think that AOL/TW should spin off AOL as a separate company. That doesn’t go nearly far enough. AOL/TW should be broken into at least seven different companies, which may recombine pieces of other acqusitions.

  • AOL — online service
  • Warner Brothers — film and TV studios, including Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema
  • HBO/Turner — television networks, including CNN, TNT, HBO, WB
  • Roadrunner — cable systems: just the wires, no production or networks
  • Time — magazines
  • WEA — records
  • Little Brown — books

Each would be an independent powerhouse in its industry and unlock the value destroyed by phoney corporate synergy.