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AOL readies a new plan for content

A week before America Online presents investors with its blueprint for a turnaround, the spotlight is turning to tie-ins between the Net giant and its corporate cousins.

A week before America Online presents investors with its blueprint for a turnaround, the spotlight is beginning to shine on tie-ins between the Internet giant and its corporate cousins.

AOL executives on Dec. 3 will detail plans to offer content from AOL Time Warner as part of the Internet service's revitalization effort, according to a source familiar with the plans. If the plans go through, certain AOL Time Warner businesses--including publications from Time Inc.--will offer much of their content on the AOL service or as a separate online subscription, the source added.

The plans are part of AOL Time Warner's efforts to refurbish its troubled AOL division. Over the past year, AOL has watched its online advertising revenue plummet and its subscriber base stagnate, factors in a significant drop in AOL Time Warner's stock price.

AOL executives are now trying to beef up the Internet service with exclusive products to try to slow the tide of customer defection and to lure new subscribers. The company in October announced it would no longer accept third-party pop-up advertisements on AOL, in an attempt to improve the service.

AOL's new breed of executives, led by division CEO Jonathan Miller, will present their strategic turnaround plan to Wall Street analysts at a company event next week. AOL Time Warner's board of directors gave the go-ahead for the plans last week.

The plans could also highlight a newfound cooperation between the AOL division and the traditional media businesses under the AOL Time Warner umbrella. During the early days of AOL Time Warner, executives had pressured divisions to work closely with AOL to market their businesses.