Rather, who left the CBS Evening News last year following a controversial story about President Bush's military service, remains a polarizing figure who would no doubt attract users to AOL. Rather Tuesday signed a deal with Mark Cuban's HDNet channel to host a weekly news program that will debut in October. He ended his 44-year career with CBS News several weeks ago after he reportedly felt that he didn't have enough work to do on its flagship 60 Minutes show.

Shares of Time Warner, also the parent of Sports Illustrated and the Cartoon Network, fell 26 cents to $16.41 in midafternoon trading.

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