Early Briefing: New Leader at AOL

AOL announced a new leader, just two years after the outgoing executives were chosen to turn around the struggling dial-up and content company. Google Senior Vice President Tim Armstrong will replace Randy Falco as chairman and chief executive, said parent company Time Warner. AOL president and operating chief Ron Grant will leave with Falco after a transitional period of a few weeks. That comes as AOL is in the midst of shedding about 10 percent of its workforce.
Armstrong will be responsible for the future form of AOL -- and who owns it. A spinoff of some or all of AOL's parts is likely, said a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because a personnel matter was being discussed.

The 11-story Watergate office tower is for sale. Los Angeles-based BentleyForbes is also selling 66,000 square feet of retail space next door, plus a parking garage at the Watergate complex. Why sell now?
"It is basic portfolio and fund management. You've done what you wanted to do with them, " said Arthur Milston, managing director at Savills in New York, the real estate company that will market the buildings. BentleyForbes bought its portion of the Watergate complex in 2005 for $86.5 million. The company said it put about $4 million into renovations.

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder wanted to turn Six Flags from a debt-laden firm into part of an entertainment empire. But now the amusement-park chain said that it may seek bankruptcy court protection if it can't restructure some of its obligations by mid-August and that it is actively negotiating with lenders.

BB&T has made a deal with Prince William County schools that allows students to track their finances through a link on Battlefield High School's Web site. The deal is considered a first for area public schools, but some parents and analysts say there are questions about what school-related advertising is appropriate and what is not.

By Terri Rupar  |  March 13, 2009; 7:30 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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