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AOL Time Warner to Drop 'AOL' From Name

As of Thursday, the world’s largest media company will officially drop “AOL” from its name and be known as “Time Warner Inc.,” as it was before it announced a merger with America Online at the height of the Internet boom in early 2000.

The company’s shares will also resume trading under their former ticker symbol of “TWX” on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, instead of the current “AOL.” The company will also change its Web site to www.timewarner.com from www.aoltimewarner.com.

The changes that go into effect Thursday were decided upon last month at a board meeting of AOL Time Warner. The company said the changes would end confusion between “AOL” the online service and “AOL” as shorthand for the entire company, whose vast media holdings include CNN, HBO, Time magazine and Warner Bros.

Veterans from the Time Warner side of the company have long pressed for AOL to be removed from the company name as disappointment over the merger mounted. Federal regulators are still investigating questionable accounting at the AOL division.

But the drive for a name change gained momentum after Jonathan Miller, head of the AOL division, made a personal appeal to chairman and CEO Richard Parsons that the change be made in order to help AOL regain control over its own brand.

The company previously announced that its new headquarters building in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle will be renamed to Time Warner Center from the planned AOL Time Warner Center. Construction on the 80-story complex is nearly complete, and occupants will begin moving in phases beginning this fall.

In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, AOL Time Warner shares were up 17 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $15.90.

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