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LOOKING FOR THE SILVER LINING: Time Warner Inc. on Wednesday reported a $16 billion net loss for the fourth quarter that included noncash impairments of goodwill and intangible assets at Time Inc. and AOL. Advertising revenue at Time Inc. was down 20 percent, to $636 million, during the quarter, and total revenue fell 13 percent, to $1.3 billion. In all of 2008, online revenue increased $57 million in the publishing division, led by People.com, CNNMoney.com and Time.com. Jeff Bewkes, chief executive officer, had no guidance as to when advertising might pick up, but he had a bit of good news to report at Time Inc.: readership was up 4 percent for the year, although Bewkes didn’t provide details.
During a conference call Time Warner revealed that Google wants Time Warner to buy back its AOL stake or else take AOL public. The company is evaluating its options.
— Amy Wicks