AOL to slash 5,000 jobs
Online giant expects to cut more than a quarter of its work force as part of its restructuring plan.

NEW YORK ( -- AOL said Thursday that about 5,000 workers will probably be let go within six months as the company moves away from its old dial-up Internet access business in a bid to win more advertising dollars online.

"At a company meeting this morning, [AOL CEO] Jon Miller told AOL's worldwide work force of 19,000 people that within six months, it was likely that around 5,000 employees would no longer be with the company," an AOL spokeswoman told

AOL has been slow to keep up with changes in how people use the Internet.

The news came a day after AOL announced what was widely expected: that it was going to offer many of its services for free to broadband customers.

Executives at AOL are hoping the changes will reignite growth as AOL seeks to move from a subscription-based business to one that taps the rapid growth in online advertising.

As part of the restructuring, AOL expects to cut as much as $1 billion in costs next year, executives said.

Under the plan, AOL will give away e-mail, software and other Web services for free to high-speed Internet users as it tries to attract more users to its Web site and more advertisers. (Full story).

The restructuring also includes selling its European Internet access businesses that employ about 3,000 people, according to Reuters. It was not immediately clear if that number was part of the 5,000 jobs the company is expected to shed.

The new strategy is meant to wean AOL away from the dial-up service that for years had made it the biggest Internet service provider, before faster broadband connections became popular.

The latest plan is the fourth overhaul for AOL in the last five years.

Shares of Time Warner (down $0.04 to $16.63, Charts) fell about 0.5 percent in afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading Thursday.

In addition to AOL, Time Warner owns, Time magazine, Warner Bros. movie studios, CNN, HBO, cable systems and other media properties.

The other story at Time Warner

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