The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

ADIOS AOL
shove off!
The hammer finally came down. A month after the long-rumored move picked up steam from an unlikely impetus, AOL Time Warner is officially no more, as the world's largest media company has gone back to its pre-merger Time Warner moniker. Even their stock symbol will revert back to the old TWX instead of the current AOL.

It's very much a cosmetic move, but symbolically major. It really puts an emphatic nail in the coffin of what was the dot-com boom era, the ultimate triumph of old media over new (at least in an assimilative way). If the stock starts to rebound from this, it'll make the whole years-long saga that much funnier.

This brings to mind a similar recent corporate makeover, that of MCI "overtaking" its former WorldCom parent. The industries are different, but both this deal and the AOLTW merger took place around the same time, so there's that connection. All this will make for interesting chapters in the history of American big business.