Dept of too little, too late: AOL & Time Inc now working together

I’ve been reading the recent news stories about AOL Food and the cooperation between AOL and Time Inc brands, and it all seems like too little, too late.
In the November 10th Washington Post, AOL EVP of Programming Jim Bankoff (my former boss) discusses the new food channel and talks about the “leap of faith” it took for Time Inc to share content with AOL to build it.
Discussing the decision to collaborate, Jim says “There were definitely voices of dissent and doubt on both sides. Because we’re the same company… We took it with fingers crossed…You’re starting to see the real fruits of the relationship.”
The fact it’s taken over 3 years for any of these fruits to ripen says alot to me about why Time Warner would consider selling AOL–the ROI and the effort to get to a payoff is just too tough.
Back in January 2000, Dick Parsons said:
“By joining the resources and talents of these two highly creative companies, we can accelerate the development and deployment of a whole new generation of interactive services and content. The heightened competition and expanded choices this will bring about will be of great benefit to consumers. For the creative and innovative people who are the lifeblood of our companies, it means a truly exciting range of new opportunities to explore and give shape to. For our shareholders, it means we’ll be able to grow in ways we couldn’t have as separate companies, producing superior returns in both the short and long term.”
But that didn’t really happen, did it?