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Falco Appointment Means No AOL Sale

The Times plays down the widespread speculation that AOL is being dressed up for a sale. The paper says naming Randy Falco as CEO isn't the kind of choice Time Warner would make if it wanted to sell the company right away. Falco, for one, says, "I'm very loyal...I'm not in here for a short ride." Indeed, he spent 31 years at NBC Universal. "I can't imagine that Time Warner will want to sell or get out of AOL," he adds.

But an AOL sale wouldn't necessarily be his decision either, although he would have some say in the matter. Time Warner's strategy may be to dress AOL up for a sale, but first, it wants a drastic improvement on the product, and AOL's valuation. So no, no sale is imminent.

Falco and new deputy Ron Grant are in charge of breathing new life into the product. This week, they started ushering in a new administration, something AOL employees have become accustomed to in recent years. Falco will have eight people report directly to him, while Grant, the president and COO, will oversee seven operating businesses, including products, platforms, programming, advertising sales, international and the company's large but dying ISP business.

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