AOL Shifts Patch Local News Service To Joint Venture With Hale Global

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 1:36pm PST

Turnaround company Hale Global will operate and own a majority stake of Patch, or at least what’s left of AOL chief Tim Armstrong’s dream to create a powerful network of local news Web sites. TAOL new logohe companies say that they … Read More »

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AOL Slashes Staffing At Its Patch Local News Services

By | Friday August 16, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT

This was the shoe everyone was waiting to hear drop as AOL chief Tim Armstrong abandons his ambition to blanket the country with web sites offering hyper-local news. He told staffers at his Patch network of news destinations … Read More »

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AOL Intensifies Effort To Lure Advertisers From TV With New “Programmatic Upfront”

By | Wednesday July 24, 2013 @ 6:00am PDT

AOL and other web video providers showed with their NewFront presentations — timed to coincide with the TV networks’ upfronts in May — that they’re serious about trying to siphon ad dollars that typically go to broadcast and cable networks. Read More »

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AOL Slows Revenue Decline In Q2 As Ad Sales Grow

By | Wednesday July 25, 2012 @ 4:17am PDT

AOL Earnings Q2 2012You look for good news where you can find it. And for AOL, it’s in a 6% increase in global ad sales in Q2 — and the $1.1B it received from its patent Read More »

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AOL Says It Will Use Proceeds From Patent Sale To Repurchase $400M Of Its Shares

By | Thursday June 28, 2012 @ 5:36am PDT

CEO Tim Armstrong is following through on his vow to give back to shareholders all of the $1B+ that Microsoft recently paid for more than 800 AOL patents. In addition to previous share repurchases, the company … Read More »

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Cable Execs Warn That Dish Network’s Ad-Zapping DVR Could Lead To Higher Costs

Cable Show DVRBroadcasters received moral support this morning from cable in the looming battle against the new Auto Hop feature on Dish Network‘s Hopper DVRs, which enables the machines to automatically recognize and skip over ads on … Read More »

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UPDATE: AOL Chief Laments Proxy Fight “Noise” After Beating Q1 Forecasts

By | Wednesday May 9, 2012 @ 4:43am PDT

AOL Q1 2012 EarningsUPDATE, 6:35 AM: ”I don’t see a resolution on the horizon” in AOL‘s battle with activist investor Starboard Value, CEO Tim Armstrong told analysts this morning. The hedge fund, which owns 5.3% of AOL shares, is waging a proxy fight as it attacks Armstrong initiatives including his investment in the Patch local news service and acquisition of the Huffington Post. Starboard is challenging the company’s nominated slate of directors with three of its own candidates — including Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith — for the election that will take place at AOL’s annual meeting June 14. “We feel pretty good about our position in that,” Armstrong says. But he adds that it’s “not helpful to have a lot of noise around our content business” just as AOL enters the upfront ad-buying season. He urged investors not to “mistake that noise for what we’re doing.” Read More »

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AOL Dissident Investor Says $1.1B Patent Sale Doesn’t Solve Operational Problems

By | Tuesday April 10, 2012 @ 7:56am PDT

AOL chief Tim Armstrong probably knew that Starboard Value’s Jeffrey Smith — who controls 5.3% of the shares — wouldn’t fold up his tent after yesterday’s deal with Microsoft, which resulted in a 44% pop in the … Read More »

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AOL’s Tim Armstrong Touts Patent Deal, But Slams NYT: Video

Anchors on CNBC’s Squawk Box joked about how quickly the AOL chief executive made it to their studios to crow about this morning’s $1.1B patent deal with Microsoft — which sent AOL shares soaring. “This is not a home run. It’s a grand slam,” Armstrong says promising to … Read More »

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AOL Chief Tim Armstrong Inks 4-Year Contract With Perks To Boost Stock Price

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 3:29pm PDT

The agreement guarantees him an annual base salary of $1M, and a target annual incentive bonus of $2M. In contrast to his previous deal, from 2009 when AOL was still part of Time Warner, the new terms provide fewer benefits ”including … Read More »

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AOL Should Divest Moviefone And MapQuest Dissident Shareholder Says

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 8:49am PDT

UPDATE, 11:05 AM: AOL changed its mind and just released a statement in response to this morning’s letter from Starboard Value’s Jeffrey Smith. Looks like Moviefone and MapQuest won’t be shopped around: “We are continuing to work on the comeback of AOL and have a plan that is beneficial for employees, customers and shareholders. We believe strongly that all of our brands are important to our brand portfolio. We will continue to update investors as we execute on our plan.”

PREVIOUS, 8:49 AM: AOL isn’t commenting this morning on the latest missive from activist investor Jeffrey Smith, who says that the Internet content and access company has failed to deliver for shareholders. Smith’s Starboard Value owns 5.2% of AOL — and he’s proposing a slate of five candidates, including himself, for its board. Today he kept the pressure on with a public letter to directors urging them to stop postponing the company’s annual meeting, and to unload underperforming properties including Moviefone and MapQuest.  AOL paid $525M for Moviefone and $1.1B for MapQuest in 1999. ”These prices are likely well in excess of the current market value of these assets,” Smith said so a sale could generate Net Operating Losses that AOL could use to reduce its taxes. He also applauded reports that AOL has hired Evercore Partners to explore the possibility of selling the company’s portfolio of patents for Internet processes in areas including e-commerce, travel navigation, and search-related advertising. CEO Tim Armstrong has likened them to “beachfront property in East Hampton.” But Smith says the company should treat a potential sale with “a sense of urgency due to the relatively short remaining lives of some of the material patents.”

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Will AOL Sell Its “Beachfront” Patents?

By | Saturday March 24, 2012 @ 2:16pm PDT

The company’s thinking seriously about it — so much so that it hired Evercore Partners to explore a sale of more than 800 patents and consider other strategic options, Bloomberg reports citing “three people with knowledge of the … Read More »

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AOL Chief: People Focus Too Much On Exec Departures And Drama

By | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 6:38am PDT

The controversy at AOL late last year when several executives left — including much of the management of its web site TechCrunch — still seems to stick in CEO Tim Armstrong’s craw. “There’s a huge misunderstanding about AOL from the drama perspective,” Armstrong told investors this morning at the Barclay’s Internet Connect Conference. “The media loves to write about our company.” Not just the media: Activist investor Jeffrey Smith, whose Starboard Value owns about 5% of AOL, wrote a public letter in December saying that the departures indicated “a high level of frustration inside the Company over its current strategic direction.” Yet Armstrong, whose company owns The Huffington Post, says the story was sensationalized. ”People like to make the situation out like the sky is falling.” Even though “there’s a lot of noise about people coming and going” he says that “I have been removing people from the company who were not performing. And that’s OK…The people we’ve removed, their departments are performing better….The world may look at AOL as a lot of drama, but we’re getting results.”  Indeed, he says, if reports are accurate that CNN believes social media site Mashable is worth $200M, then “our content business would be one of the most valuable businesses on the Internet.” Read More »

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AOL Investor Says Content Acquisitions Have Been A Big Waste

By | Wednesday December 21, 2011 @ 9:30am PST

UPDATED: The charge comes from Starboard Value CEO Jeffrey Smith, whose investment company controls 4.5% of AOL, in a scathing nine-page letter today to CEO Tim Armstrong.  AOL has lost about 36.5% of its market value this year … Read More »

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AOL Chief Tells Analysts That Flat Traffic Growth Is “Up For Us”: UBS Confab

You see, AOL’s numbers had been ”artificially pumped up” by “bad distribution deals,” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told analysts at the UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference. Now that the company is unwinding those deals, ”flat is actually up for us.” Armstrong says … Read More »

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Ad Gains Help AOL Narrow Loss In 3Q

By | Wednesday November 2, 2011 @ 6:00am PDT

AOL this morning reported third-quarter revenue of $531.7 million, down 6% from a year ago but marking the lowest level of decline in five years. A loss of $2.6 million, or 2 cents a share, also beat Wall Street projections … Read More »

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Is AOL Boss Pitching Merger With Yahoo, Or Is He Pitching Himself?

By | Wednesday October 12, 2011 @ 8:07pm PDT

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is doing some behind-the-scenes pitching to major shareholders about a plan to have Yahoo acquire AOL, Reuters reported today. That he’s seeking a merger deal isn’t new, but the details are interesting: citing sources, he … Read More »

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Bloomberg: AOL-Yahoo Merger Discussed

By | Friday September 9, 2011 @ 12:39pm PDT

AOL YahooAOL chief executive Tim Armstrong and advisers for Yahoo are discussing combining the two companies in the wake of Carol Bartz’s ouster as Yahoo CEO, Bloomberg reports. Armstrong perhaps sees his opening now that Bartz has … Read More »

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AOL Strikes Out With 2Q Earnings As Personnel And Acquisition Costs Rise

By | Tuesday August 9, 2011 @ 4:36am PDT

AOL shares are down about 11% in early trading and here’s why: Wall Street expected AOL to deliver a 4 cent-a-share profit for 2Q, and the company reported an 11 cent loss. The net loss, at $11.8M, looks better … Read More »

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