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Time Warner spokesman Ed Adler exiting

February 12, 2010 |  1:14 pm

Ed Adler, the longtime Time Warner Inc. spokesman who served three chief executives and had the unenviable task of spinning, then defending and then distancing the company from its ill-fated merger with America Online, is leaving his gig as executive vice president of corporate communications.

ADLER Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes said in a statement that "it was only because we are now on such solid ground that, after discussing it with him, I reluctantly accepted Ed's decision to look for new opportunities to apply his talents and capabilities."

Adler, 55, is the latest senior communications executive to leave the media giant in a month. Last week Sharan Magnuson, who oversaw communications for Warner Bros. TV, resigned for health reasons, and last month Shirley Powell, the veteran spokeswoman for Turner Broadcasting, Time Warner's biggest unit, also left. A replacement for Adler is expected to be named in the coming weeks. No replacements have been named for Magnuson or Powell.

Adler, who spent his entire career with Time Warner and had stints at Time magazine as a reporter and HBO as a programming executive before moving to corporate communications, said in a statement that he wanted to make a change for some time. Not prone to hyperbole, Adler was a low-key spokesman who managed to survive through years of turmoil at Time Warner ranging from the AOL merger to flamboyant personalities such as Ted Turner, the former vice chairman who was never shy about voicing his thoughts on how the company was being run. Adler was brought into the job by then-CEO Gerry Levin and then served under Levin's successors, Dick Parsons and Bewkes.

Adler is not riding off into the sunset. He has told friends and colleagues that he plans to resurface after some time off.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Ed Adler. Credit: Time Warner
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