Time Warner made the formal announcement Wednesday that it will split off Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable operation in the country behind Comcast. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, in a conference call with analysts, said that the company had become a "full-fledged telecommunications business" that includes cable, Internet access, and phone services that no longer fits well with Time Warner's traditional media companies, which include the Warner Bros. film studios, publishers Time Inc., and Turner Broadcasting. It also owns AOL -- another company that it is likely to dispose of. In order for the split to occur, Time Warner Cable will have to borrow $10.9 billion for a one-time dividend -- $9.25 billion of that amount payable to Time Warner, for its 84-percent ownership. Reporting on the development, the Wall Street Journal noted, "Loading up a spinoff with lots of debt has had bad consequences in the past." On the other hand, it said, "Time Warner itself is making out like a bandit on the deal, slashing its net debt by two-thirds."
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