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Time Warner drops AOL name

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NEW YORK (CNNfn) -- AOL Time Warner has dropped AOL from its name, erasing any trace of the company from the media giant's name in the third year if their union.

Parsons said it would take "several weeks to become legally effected and several months to roll it out completely."

He made his remarks to CNNfn Correspondent Mary Snow as he departed a meeting of the company's board of directors at the media conglomerate's headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.

The company's stock symbol -- currently AOL -- will revert to TWX, its symbol before the publishing empire was bought by AOL in January 2001.

The new name will be Time Warner Inc. "We believe that our new name better reflects the portfolio of our valuable businesses and ends any confusion between our corporate name and the America Online brand name for our investors, partners and the public," Parsons said in a written statement.

"Renaming our company will strengthen the identity of the AOL brand among consumers," he added. "America Online is an important part of our company, and we expect it to continue to make major contributions to our success in the future."

America Online Chairman and CEO Jon Miller had predicted in August that the name change would benefit the Internet service provider.

Miller's team felt the corporate name was confusing to the public, including America Online members. The corporate name is often shortened to AOL, which is how America Online, the ISP, has long been nicknamed.

Since AOL bought Time Warner for $112 billion in history's biggest merger, the value of the online division plummeted, as did the company's stock, and the promised benefits of "synergy" failed to appear.

AOL's accounting practices have been investigated in recent months.

AOL Time Warner, which is the parent company of CNN and CNNfn, describes itself as "the world's leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems, publishing and music."

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