Breaking up is easy to do

Paid Content is reading the giant Lazard report urging the break-up of Time Warner so we don’t have to. Here’s The Times coverage. And Gawker quotes Michael Wolfe’s Vanity Fair column arguing that Time Warner doesn’t have a reason to exist.

In some sense, the best that people can say about Time Warner is it is somehow not like other companies–which are fundamentally about ownership and control. It’s a postmodern entity: the inevitable result of consolidation is that everything is connected in such a tortured and ham-handed way that nothing is quite connected….

No investor, man on the street, politician with his finger in the wind, or employee would tell you differently: Time Warner, along with all the other centralized, vertically integrated, horizontally organized, multi-platform-function media companies, is just too big. The idea of agglomeration without limit turned out not to be such a good one. A no-brainer bad one….

There may be nobody who actually believes in big media anymore.

And this, folks, is why I do not think that media consolidation is an evil ready to eat up the world. Media consolidation makes companies too big and too dumb and the marketplace will take care of them.

I can’t wait to get my proxy to vote on Icahn’s efforts to break up (AOL) Time Warner. I’ll vote yes.

  • Paw

    While I, as well as fellow investors, would welcome any effort to raise the TW stock price from its undeserved basement status, I question the use of the term “reason to exist”. Does Michael Wolff have a reason to exist? He certainly doesn’t bring any fresh insight into why a company that seems to be firing on all cylinders (profits up 8% year to year, free cash flow of 4.4 billion, industry leading film studio, television studio, cable company, top billing cable networks, etc.) gets shit on by the likes of him and fuckheads like Jessica Reif Cohen at Merrill Lynch.

    If Wolff took his nose out of Icahn’s ass for a second and look at the numbers, he might learn something. There’s no real need to reiterate how horrible the AOL merger was for Time Warner. Anyone that lost money during that period could tell you that. What no one has clearly defined in this entire debate is how and why Icahn expects to get more from the pieces of TW than the company is worth today. Explaining that might justify Wolff’s own existence.

  • steven

    it defeats a purpose of calling it a media congolormate. I think they should just spin off AOL and keep everything else. Icahn’s primetime is over. He’s making a fool of himself by telling everyone to vote for him to run the company. Spining off seperate companys is a stupid idea. He only owns 3 percent of the company, so why does he make that he owns like 30 percent or something? He seems like a control freak. AOL should be only spun off, and like I said, Icahn’s primtime is OVER!