Parsons: 'Life Gets Complicated'


Addressing a packed luncheon audience of 1,400 at the Cabletelevision
Advertising Bureau's Cable Advertising Conference at New York's Marriott Marquis
Hotel, AOL Time Warner Inc. CEO and chairman-elect Richard Parsons poked a bit
of fun at the recent turmoil at his company.

"Life keeps getting complicated -- believe me, I know this firsthand,"
Parsons said.

Besides "all of the area codes in New York" and the proliferation of coffee
flavors, he said, the television world also has grown more complex.

From three broadcast networks decades ago, he added, that business has grown
to seven TV networks and scores of cable networks.

In sharp contrast to the virtual viewing monopoly that the "Big Three" TV
networks once enjoyed, the seven broadcasters today account for about one-half
of all viewing, with cable accounting for the balance, starting last year, he

One of those TV networks is The WB Television Network, which he said uses a
cable-based, targeted approach and which has repurposed programming from sibling
Turner Network Television.

Such cable/broadcast repurposing is no longer unusual, he added, since it
occurs regularly at The Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Viacom Inc.,