Former Time Warner CEO Who Helped Lead AOL Merger Was 84


Gerald M. Levin, the previous CEO of Time Warner who helped oversee its calamitous merger with AOL, died Wednesday in Lengthy Seashore, CA. He was 84.

His loss of life was confirmed to The New York Occasions by his grandchild, Jake Maia Arlow. Levin had been recognized with Parkinson’s illness however no particulars about his loss of life had been shared.

As soon as described as some of the highly effective media executives on the planet, Levin with Steve Case orchestrated the ruinous merger of AOL and Time Warner in 2000. On the time, Time Warner was the world’s largest media firm whereas AOL was a behemoth in its personal proper. However the deal would go down among the many worst in historical past, and Levin resigned from the corporate in 2002.

“He noticed the merger with AOL as making Time Warner digital by injection,” Richard Parsons, who succeeded Levin at Time Warner, instructed the NYT. “What AOL dropped at the occasion was prompt entry and competence by way of learn how to entry the web world.”

Born in Pennsylvania, Levin attended Haverford Faculty and College of Pennsylvania Legislation College. Most of his profession was with Time Inc, which grew to become Time Warner. He joined the corporate in 1972 and made his mark three years later by persuading the brass to transmit a regional pay-TV channel known as Residence Field Workplace to the nation.

“It was Jerry Levin who revolutionized tv when he was the primary to make the most of satellite tv for pc transmission for programming,” Barry Diller mentioned in an announcement for the NYT, “and he had nice resistance inside Time Inc., however he persevered and cable tv was born.”

He would later play a key function within the firm’s merger with Warner Communications. As CEO, he oversaw the 1996 acquisition of Turner Broadcasting System.

After the loss of life of Robin Williams in 2014, Levin disclosed to Deadline that he was recognized with Parkinson’s.

“There’s a lot misunderstanding about Parkinson’s,” he instructed Mike Fleming Jr. “To make the connection between Parkinson’s and melancholy in all probability can have a considerable impression now the place folks will start to see, with out stigma and with out mischaracterization, that it is a 24/7 form of illness that impacts your features. There’s a entire psychological layer beneath the bodily results of Parkinson’s that’s normally not even mentioned or disclosed. I feel it is a large contribution to consciousness, and it will likely be remembered alongside together with his human spirit and pleasure. A few of the phrases which might be used are fairly ironic, that it’s a progressive, degenerative, illness.”

A yr later, Levin fashioned The Levin Middle For Parkinson’s Transformational Well being. The mission was to take away the stigma and work on the emotional well-being of Parkinson’s victims.

“I stepped down from Time Warner in 2002,” Levin instructed Deadline. “That is my first entrepreneurial start-up. I joined Time Inc for the startup of HBO, however that was accomplished underneath a company umbrella as had been different entrepreneurial performs we made. At age 76, with none entrepreneurial start-up expertise, I’m now engaged in a start-up. I’ve accomplished interviews about enterprise, about making motion pictures, cable, streaming, and I’d at all times get conflicting reactions. That [Deadline article from 2014] was the primary time that uniformly the response was I’d accomplished one thing necessary, talking about what it’s like internally to take care of Parkinson’s, and utilizing Robin’s legacy as a strategy to illustrate how folks shouldn’t be embarrassed. I’ve realized that is the one bully pulpit I’ve. I’m a citizen with a previous title, however I’ve a platform, and it’s Parkinson’s, and ageing. Sure, I’ve Parkinson’s, and sure, I’ve tremors, my voice is just not what it was, and it’s onerous for me to stroll. However I’m decided to assist folks. When you assist others, you assist your self.”

Levin is survived by 4 kids. He’s preceded in loss of life by his son Jonathan, a public highschool trainer who was murdered by a former pupil in 1997.

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