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Falco: AOL is Back

Alan Sipress

Six months after he took the helm at AOL, Randy Falco says the company has turned the corner, successfully shedding its former subscription business model for an open approach supported by advertising.

"The headline is AOL is back," he said in an interview on the eve of today's "First Look" showcase in New York highlighting new online programs. "AOL is huge."

Falco said unique visitors to AOL's site continue to increase and page views are up month after month. He added that the new users to AOL's free service are more than offsetting the drop in subscribers.

Falco was named AOL's chairman and chief executive in an unexpected November shuffle atop the company. When I first interviewed him a week after his appointment, he told me it was too early to detail his strategy. So I returned to the topic when I spoke with him yesterday.

"It took me a little while to look around the landscape and understand what we have to do with AOL," he said. "My interest is to get it back on its feet, restore it to its preeminent spot and make a winner out of it."

The key, he continued, is to make AOL increasingly relevant to users while offering scope to advertisers. He pointed in particular to several new products that AOL is rolling out, including updates to its email and instant messaging services, music and video products and a new business product later this year.

By Alan Sipress  |  April 17, 2007; 1:06 PM ET  | Category:  Alan Sipress
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