TW’s Parsons: Successful Digital Tranisition Would Make Time Inc. ‘Growth Business For A Long Time’

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Earlier today we published Rafat’s interview with Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore. Time Warner chairman and CEO Dick Parsons talked about the magazine unit and other parts of the mega-media company’s business during a Merrill Lynch conference in London. I haven’t had a chance to listen yet but Nat Ives at AdAge took good notes. Some highlights:

Time Inc.: “I think it can be an 8 percent, 9 percent, 10 percent growth business for a long time if we successfully complete the transition to online.” He said more titles might yet be sold or closed: “We hadn’t gone through and really pruned the portfolio, if you will. We’ve sold some titles and we’ve closed some titles also. We’ll probably look to continue to do that.”

Cable nets: Parsons: “We’re still thinking about how to make TNT and TBS more online-friendly. … “I’m going to say something I shouldn’t say. I worry about CNN more now than I do about CNN.com.”

Electronic downloads: Parsons talked up simultaneous theater/online movie releases: “”Everyone’s afraid it’s somehow going to upset the 800-pound gorilla, Wal-Mart. We don’t think so. We think and what we’ve shown in some of our trials is the video on demand can help increase sell-through as well as change the economics dramatically for the studios. … “It will be a cold day in hell that I would actually get up from my apartment to go to the video store. I’ve never actually been in a Wal-Mart.” (That’s what we call in my house an admission against self-interest.)

AOL: “”I think by the end of this year we’ll be in a place where we can make the call on AOL.”

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