The media world ushered in the new millennium with a great flourish. Just 10 days into 2000, America Online Inc. (AOL) announced it would buy Time Warner Inc. (TWX), creating a partnership between new and old media on an unrivaled scale. At the time, Internet companies were still highly valued, and old-line media companies were looking for deals to ensure their survival. And what better way to help promote Time Warner's sprawling assets--from Bugs Bunny and Time magazine to HBO's The Sopranos and CNN's Crossfire--than through an Internet service that reaches 25 million-plus subscribers?

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