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CNN-ABC merger called off
AOL Time Warner pulls out of talks, describing the merger as a complex proposition.
February 14, 2003: 8:03 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Merger talks between CNN and ABC News were called off because of the complexity of integrating the two news networks, AOL Time Warner said late Thursday.

"After careful review, it was determined that although there are great merits and possibilities to a merger of CNN and ABC news, the potential problems associated with the completion of such a transaction and the integration of these two distinct and great cultures was more than we want to pursue at this time," the company said in a statement.

AOL Time Warner is the parent company of CNN/Money.

Executives of AOL Time Warner and Walt Disney Co. had been reviewing a possible merger between AOL's CNN and the news operations of Disney's ABC, which could save the companies as much as $200 million a year.

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But talks with ABC were stalled last month when CNN Chairman Walter Isaacson abruptly announced his resignation after just 18 months on the job. At the time, high-ranking executives at Turner Broadcasting maintained that the merger talks with ABC would remain under review for the next four to six weeks.

"The AOL Time Warner statement speaks for itself," said Zenia Mucha, vice president for corporate communications with Walt Disney.

Shares of AOL Time Warner (AOL: Research, Estimates) lost 12 cents to $10.15 Thursday, while shares of Walt Disney (DIS: Research, Estimates) lost 17 cents to $16.13.  Top of page

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