SAN FRANCISCO -- AOL is becoming an independent Internet company again.
With the company's spinoff from Time Warner Inc. complete, AOL's stock is set to officially begin trading Thursday. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong plans to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
AOL's dial-up Internet access business has just one-fifth as many subscribers as it had at its peak in 2002. Now the company is trying to boost its fading profitability with a portfolio of Web sites, supported by advertising revenue.
It hopes to fill many of the sites with inexpensive material produced by freelancers paid by the post. This week it said it had hired New York Times reporter Saul Hansell to oversee part of that content-generation effort.
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