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Bewkes 'Stuck Holding' AOL

Jeff Bewkes has had a rough go of it in his first year as Time Warner CEO, Bloomberg reports. AOL, in particular, has been dead weight for the media conglomerate to carry around. Clearly, splitting the ailing Web giant's Internet access and online divisions wasn't enough; Bewkes is now faced with the problem of finding a suitable buyer for a company that no one wants.

"Investors were hopeful that some changes would have been made somewhat more quickly," said Mark Greenberg, who oversees Aim Leisure Fund, which owns 936,500 million Time Warner shares. "It would have been great if he could have pulled a genie out of a hat regarding AOL, but it's not clear if there's a genie out there."

What about those ongoing AOL-Yahoo talks? The last time Bewkes touched on the talks with Yahoo, Microsoft and Google was at an investor conference last month. Alan Gould, an analyst at Natixis Bleichroeder Inc., values AOL at about $4.5 billion, including $3 billion for the online ad business. He and UBS AG analyst Michael Morris worry it might be too late to sell AOL. "I'm sure Jeff would love to have AOL off his hands," said Gould. "He's stuck holding onto it. I just don't see bidders out there."

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