AOL Time Warner Inc.'s departing CEO, Gerald Levin, acknowledged his
'love-hate relationship' with Ted Turner, but said he felt only love for the
company's vice chairman.
'I'm a symbol of the things that trouble Ted,' Levin told reporters at a
gathering in Los Angeles on Tuesday, reflecting on Turner's widely reported Nov.
27 comments that he wished he had bought Time Warner Inc. and fired Levin,
instead of selling Turner Broadcasting System Inc. to Time Warner and ending up
with no real power at AOL Time Warner.
Turner made his comments at last month's Western Show in Anaheim.
'He has a love-hate relationship with me but, I have a love relationship with
him,' Levin said, adding that he fought against selling naming rights to the
Atlanta Braves' baseball stadium so that it could be named in honor of
Levin said he encouraged AOL Time Warner co-chief operating officer Richard
Parsons to renew Turner's contract as vice chairman, which expires this
In a published report last week, Parsons praised Turner and said he believed
the cable pioneer would re-sign as vice chairman.
Levin, who will step down next May and hand the CEO reins Parsons, also said
he's confident that the new management balances the interests of the America
Online and Time Warner sides of the merger.
His quick assessment of his associates: Chairman Steve Case is 'an essential
player,' Parsons is a 'people person' and co-COO Bob Pittman is 'the best
operating executive in the business.'
Our culture 'may celebrate moguls, but no one person can run a company,'