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Time Warner earns upgrade

Bear Stearns analyst Spencer Wang on Monday upgraded shares of Time Warner Inc. from "peer perform" to "outperform," citing potential additional restructuring of its assets during the next 12-18 months. The world's largest entertainment conglomerate "will more aggressively restructure its business portfolio, which we think will lead to incremental value recognition," Wang said. In a report, he mentioned a possible combination of AOL with another Internet player and "a possible divestiture or major restructuring of TW's publishing division" as possible moves. A TW spokesman declined comment. An AOL deal or spinoff has been a favorite topic on Wall Street. Management has said such a move could make sense down the line but also said it has no current plans to do so. TW shares closed up 1.9% on Monday to $20.18.



Vyyo taps pair for exec posts

Broadband equipment provider Vyyo Inc. on Monday added two cable veterans to key executive roles. Wayne Davis, most recently chief technology officer at Charter Communications, joins the firm as CEO, succeeding Davidi Gilo, who remains chairman. Jim Chiddix, who most recently served as chairman and CEO of OpenTV and also was chief technology officer at Time Warner Cable for 15 years, becomes Vyyo's vice chairman. Street observers said the appointments should strengthen Vyyo's ability to work with cable operators.



$8.3 mil payday for Allen

LONDON — ITV has paid former CEO Charles Allen £4.2 million ($8.3 million) in cash and shares, the company's annual report said Monday. Allen, who stepped down in the summer after pressure from shareholders, had been criticized for allowing the broadcaster's creative output and advertising revenues to slide. He was paid £3.8 million ($7.4 million) in cash and the balance in shares, ITV said. In January, Allen was replaced by former BBC chairman Michael Grade, who last month dismissed much of the broadcaster's traditional programming fare as "copycat programming" and "unoriginal."
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