Planned stock buyback hasn’t lifted the media giant’s stock, which is down 10% since investor Carl Icahn dropped his quest for control of the company. Rival media stocks are up, adding pressure for a full-scale breakup of Time Warner.
Wall Street Journal writer Matthew Karnitschnig reports that investors are mulling harder the idea of a Time Warner breakup.
At issue: while the conglomerate’s cable operating division is reporting strong growth, thanks in part to its Internet and phone units, AOL, Warner Bros. and Time Inc. publishing divisions are seen as less attractive these days.
Even Turner Broadcasting has some investors concerned about how its top networks, TNT and TBS, will adapt to the rise of digital media, because both rely heavily on off-network reruns that can’t be readily repurposed online by the networks. Time Warner chairman Dick Parsons continues to argue against a full-scale breakup. He also notes that a breakup of Viacom hasn’t lifted the stocks of its two spinoffs.