AOL: Subscribers leaving, ad profits could drop

Although second-quarter profit at AOL Time Warner Inc rose to $1.06 billion partly due to the sale of the company’s stake in Comedy Central, a settlement with Microsoft Corp, and the strong success of The Matrix , actual operating income–what they’re making from what the groups so ever day– fell 15 percent ( to $1.29 billion from $1.52 billion).
At the same time, subscribers are dropping off, ad sales will stay flat or decline by as much as 45%, and the company is still cutting and divesting in an effort to get the balance sheet in order.
Oh yes, and thr SEC is continuning its investigations–it’d been 2+ years and at least as many books.
AOL, maybe it’s time to retrench in a bigger way. Create 4 core business units, limit their size and offe what you can: 1) dial up access with a kick-ass client, online community, including a trading marketplace,and peer to peer transactions, 2) entertainment and entertainment related services, particularly focused on kids, teens, and the less affluent and urban parts of the country, 3) technology support for the newbies, and premiumn services around computing for the non PC World crowd, 4) online community and tools: AIM, expressions, blogs, message boards, etc.
Keep it simple.
Let TW have their own brands back on the web–AOLers aren’t reading enough–and they have great magazines. Go for utility and the friendliness you were know for before you became so big.(Disclosure: I worked for AOL for 3 years).