AOL Bows Interactive Video Unit8/16/2001 4:56 AM Eastern
In a move designed to spur the growth of video-on-demand and a spate of
other advanced services, AOL Time Warner unveiled a new interactive video
division on Thursday.
The company said Joseph Collins, the former chairman and CEO of Time Warner
Cable, will head the company's Interactive Video division as chairman, reporting
to AOL Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin. Time Warner Cable president Glenn Britt
will succeed Collins and report to AOL Time Warner co-COO Bob Pittman. Tom
Rutledge, Time Warner Cable's senior executive vice president, has been upped to
president of the MSO.
AOL Time Warner Cable also elevated James Chiddix to president of the unit's
Interactive Personal Video Group. Chiddix, who reports to Collins, was Time
Warner Cable's senior vice president of engineering and technology and chief
AOL Time Warner did not say who would assume Chiddix's slot at its cable
division. AOL Time Warner officials were not immediately available for further
comment Thursday morning.
AOL Time Warner said the new unit will coordinate the development and growth
of interactive-television and advanced applications such as VOD,
subscription-VOD and Internet protocol-based cable telephony.
The division will collaborate with its cable unit and America Online Inc. to
accelerate the delivery of those services on cable and other broadband-based
systems, the company said.
The unit will also handle the roll-out of multiple ISPs on Time Warner Cable
systems, and an enhanced version of the AOLTV service, slated to launch later
Arguably the most aggressive MSO when it comes to VOD - including large
deployments in Tampa, Fla.; Honolulu, Hawaii and Austin, Texas -- Time Warner
Cable has also conducted a second-line, VoIP product called 'LineRunner' in
Portland, Maine and Rochester, N.Y.
In a press release, Levin said the creation of the new interactive unit 'was
one of the top reasons' Time Warner and AOL merged.
'The cable industry is at a critical inflection point with an exciting array
of digital and interactive services now at hand. We will bring new interactive
video services to mass market consumers faster than any other company in the
world,' Levin predicted.