Memo from Dick Parsons: To hell with transformation. Well attuned to the market's current distaste for deals that shift paradigms and shatter the earth, AOL Time Warner's ( AOL) CEO told investors Tuesday that the multimedia conglomerate would spend the near future managing its current businesses, not making momentous deals to acquire new ones. "Don't look for any transforming deals in the near-term horizon," Parsons said in a luncheon speech at UBS Warburg's Media Week Conference in New York, one in which he said a major goal of the next 12 months was to avoid any more "transforming transactions." And as if he hadn't already made his point, Parsons added later, "No more large, complicated, transforming deals." Parsons' distaste for the T-word marks a retreat -- at least in terms of corporate communication -- from the grandiose language that ruled the birth of the merger of America Online and Time Warner when it was publicly proposed nearly three years ago. Back then, during the press conference announcing the deal, Time Warner's then-Chairman Jerry Levin and AOL's then-Chairman Steve Case hammered home the idea of transformation as if it were as noble as baseball and apple pie. The deal will "transform the landscape of media and communications," said Case, now chairman of AOL Time Warner. The deal "represents the digital transformation of Time Warner," said Levin. Since then, of course, the mood has calmed down substantially at AOL Time Warner. Since the merger's completion in early 2001, the company's online advertising business has collapsed, AOL Time Warner's stock has slipped more than 70%, the company has come under investigation for certain deals closed before the merger closed, and two of the prime architects of the deal -- Levin and AOL Time Warner ex-co-operating chief Bob Pittman -- have departed the company.