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"I don't think this is over. Ted could tell them, ‘I'm going to rock this ship so hard that this deal falls apart.' You just don't want to underestimate or count him out."
—a Turner executive


Reduced Role In Merged AOL TW May Bring Out The Fireworks From Rambunctious Mogul
Even though the dust has settled—for the time being—in the Time Warner-Disney dispute, all is not quiet on the TW front.

That rumbling you hear in the distance may be the thunder of ted turner',390,400);">ted turner',390,400);">Ted Turner's increasing case of seller's remorse. The media mogul—and Time Warner's largest shareholder—is reportedly unsatisfied with his reduced role in the new AOL Time Warner, a merger worth an estimated $143 billion, according to the L.A.Times.

Turner was one of the first on the merger bandwagon in January, voting his shares in favor of the merger. When the structure of the new company was announced earlier this month, many were surprised to see Turner's name so far down the flowchart. His position of Vice Chairman and Senior Advisor put him below Chairman steve case',390,400);">steve case',390,400);">Steve Case, Chief Executive gerald levin',390,400);">gerald levin',390,400);">Gerald Levin and co-COOs Bob Pittman and richard parsons',390,400);">richard parsons',390,400);">Richard Parsons.

"I don't think this is over," said one Turner exec. "Ted could tell them, ‘I'm going to rock this ship so hard that this deal falls apart.' You just don't want to underestimate or count him out."

The AOL Time Warner deal has already been put in peril by the Time Warner-Disney battle in early May: with Time Warner pulling ABC from several of its cable networks for 36 hours. That move made regulators question Time Warner's ability to be a trustworthy "gatekeeper" of the airwaves. A bout of Turner saber rattling could also make the regulatory ride bumpy.

Some of those close to Turner have downplayed his somewhat ancillary role in the new company, pointing to Turner's increasing interest away from the day-to-day business (namely his passions for nuclear disarmament, land conservation and population control). And AOL officials have stated that Case is counting on Turner to take an active role.

Others close to Turner have said that his title doesn't matter, that the dynamic 61-year-old rules through personality. "Ted doesn't derive his power from an organizational chart," said management consultant Michael Wolf. "He's still a brilliant strategist and will continue to have a huge impact."

Though Turner did vent some anger at a cable convention in New Orleans, remarking that he agreed to vote his shares for the acquisition only to be cut out of his job, he has remained—at least by ted turner',390,400);">ted turner',390,400);">Ted Turner standards—fairly quiet about the coming merger.

Time will tell just how much Turner will feel like rocking the boat. Or would that be Time Warner will tell…?