Time for Isaacson to break new ground

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Name: Walter Isaacson
Company: AOL Time Warner
Goal: To coordinate editorial strategies for Time Inc. magazines and forge relationships between Time Inc. and CNN and AOL.
As Time Inc. editorial director and the go-to guy between Time Inc. and CNN and America Online Inc., Walter Isaacson plays a major role in what is now the biggest media conglomerate in the world: AOL Time Warner.

Isaacson, who was Time’s managing editor from 1996 to 2000, will explore possibilities on how to present content from Time Inc.’s consumer titles, including powerhouses InStyle and Sports Illustrated, on AOL. But with a combined Internet audience of more than 75 million, AOL Time Warner’s reach goes well beyond the consumer space.

"We want to come up with new ideas for niche publications that will fit in with AOL’s interest groups," Isaacson said. "We need to get information to entrepreneurs and small businesses."

Isaacson plans to develop an online magazine based on the supplement Time Digital and cultivate new types of programming for CNN, which has been losing market share to competitors Fox News Channel and MSNBC in the last few years.

Isaacson, who joined Time in 1978, has initiated a number of special projects including the Time 100, a joint project with CBS that looked at the most influential people of the 20th century. He has also served as editor of new media for Time Inc. and helped direct the development of Pathfinder, Time Warner’s Internet service that was eventually closed in favor of individual magazine sites.

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