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April 22, 2004
AOL chief executive Jonathan Miller plans to try to convince the Time Warner board Thursday that the world's biggest Internet service provider is still a growth business, an industry source said.
Analysts have said Miller needs to convince Time Warner that the AOL unit is worth keeping despite the sharp drop last year in subscribers for its dial-up online service.
Miller's strategic plan calls for AOL to make some of its content available free to non-AOL subscribers so that it can pull in more visitors to its Web site in a bid to boost ad revenue, the source said.
AOL lost more than 3 million subscribers last year to its dial-up service, but Miller is expected to say that AOL can manage that decline by growing its advertising, broadband and international businesses. AOL's higher-priced broadband service added 1.8 million subscribers last year.
Miller, 47, who previously worked for hard-charging Barry Diller at USA Networks, joined AOL in late 2002 with a mandate to resuscitate the business.
In 2003, AOL created a separate, lower-priced service that offered more videos and music, but which required subscribers to already have a high-speed Internet connection.
Time Warner is the parent of CNN/Money.