A few years ago it was called AOL Time Warner, but in 2003 the company dropped AOL from its name, and now it appears that it may one day drop Time as well. In a conference call with analysts to discuss first-quarter results, CEO Jeffrey Bewkes observed that Time Inc., which publishes Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Entertainment Weekly and other titles, had suffered a 30-percent slump in ad revenue during the quarter. Asked about the fate of the unit, Bewkes responded only that the company was exploring all its options. "We aren't assuming that this is all cyclical and will automatically come back when the economy turns," he said. The company is also facing additional challenges related to the climbing value of the dollar in many countries. (While a £10 movie ticket represented more than $20 in revenue last year, it's now worth just over $14.) Particularly hard hit were its foreign TV operations. "Advertising revenues declined 2 percent over the prior year and that was primarily due to softness in our international networks at Turner [Broadcasting] which were down mid-teens, and about half of that was due to unfavorable foreign currency," Bewkes said.

30/04/2009