The following is a chronology of key events in the history of Time Warner Inc. and America Online Inc.
Time, a weekly magazine is founded by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden with
$86,375 borrowed from friends and Yale classmates. First issue of Time, with fewer than 20,000 subscribers; magazine loses $39,454 in 1923.
Time turns a profit.
Fortune, a monthly magazine, is published.
Life, a weekly photojournal is published with circulation of more than 500,000 in less than four weeks. Company diversifies into radio, newsreels,book publishing, oil, and forest products.
90 percent of company’s revenues come from magazines.
Time Inc. trades from over-the counter to the NYSE
Time revenues reach $600 million.
Time's bottom line takes a beating as television becomes a major threat.
Life ceases publication; Money is launched. HBO, a new form of pay TV, where viewers pay a monthly fee rather than per-view, debuts. Its first Vice President of Programming is Gerald Levin.
People magazine is launched.
Gerald Levin, now President and Chairman and CEO of HBO persuades Time Inc. to buy $7.5 million of satellite time to distribute HBO programming, making it available nationwide by April. HBO is owner of 52 cable systems around the country. By end of year, HBO had 287,000 customers but decifit continues until 1977.
Profits from Time’s video divisions exceed those from magazines for the first time.
One of 10 television households receives HBO. Time begins to be seen as a cable company.
Levin initiates program suggesting merging with newspapers, broadcasting stations, and network.
AOL is incorporated under original founding name, Quantum Computer Services, registered in Delaware
Warner buys out American Express share of Warner-AMEX Cable for $400 million.
Time joined with TCI, the country’s largest multi-system cable operator and other cable companies to bail out overextended Turner Broadcasting System, Cable News Network (CNN).
Warner acquires Lorimar Telepictures.
Time merges with Warner Communications, setting the stage for a string of media consolidations.
America Online service is launched for Macintosh and Apple II
Steve Ross, the architect of the Time Warner deal, dies in December. Levin is named chairman and chief executive officer.
America Online goes public on the NASDAQ market at original price of $11.50 under symbol AMER
Windows version of America Online launched.
AOL reaches 1 million members.
Time Warner acquires Turner Broadcasting System. Time Warner regroups its operations into Filmed Entertainment, Cable Networks, Publishing & Cable Systems divisions.
AOL tops 5 million members.
AOL tops 10 million members.
AOL completes acquisition of CompuServe.
Standard & Poor announces that America Online will be added to the S&P 500 Index.
Time Warner announces joint venture with ATT to offer local telephone service in 33 states over Time Warner's infrastructure.
AOL completes its acquisition of Netscape Communication Corporation.
AOL tops 20 Million Subscribers
Time Warner and America Online announce a $181 billion merger.
Source: Time Warner, America Online.