As a Texan by birth and an unabashed fan of country music, I've always enjoyed Willie Nelson's rendition of his hit song, "Funny How Time Slips Away." It now seems, however, that a new version of that ditty might be about to be cut by Dick Parsons, Time Warner Communications' (NYSE:TWX) CEO and lead crooner.

Indeed, I'm picking up consistently louder rumblings that the company may be considering divesting its Time, Inc. magazine publishing arm, and the unit that, at least from a historic perspective, is its foundation. But time marches on. Gosh, I can't believe I said that. And with print publishers of both newspapers and magazines generally struggling to retain subscribers and stem their sliding advertising revenues, magazines may no longer fit in with Time Warner's other units.

So while Carl Icahn's demands for a breakup of the company may not have been accomplished in his desired timeframe, I still think it's likely that, a couple of years down the road, Time Warner could be a radically different entity than it is today. Consider the evidence: The AOL dialup access unit, which actually acquired Time Warner in the early years of this decade and subsequently fell on hard times, now appears to be regaining its health, thanks to a successful new advertising-based revenue model. It seemingly could now be capable of generating sales interest.

And in March, 16% of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), the nation's second-largest cable operator, was taken public, and it's likely that progressively larger percentages will be doled out to the public, perhaps beginning in the not-too-distant future. Which brings us to Time Inc., Henry Luce's legacy and the publisher of such periodicals as Time, People, and Sports Illustrated. It seems to me that this unit, which has been recording soft comparisons, but still generates EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of more than $1 billion annually, could attract significant private equity interest.   

In media, as in several other sectors, the deal activity has escalated of late. Take, for instance, Rupert Murdoch and News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) efforts to acquire Dow Jones (NYSE:DJ) and Thomson's (NYSE:TOC) newly announced agreement to buy Reuters (NASDAQ:RTRSY). All this tells me that it could be a propitious time to rejigger Time Warner. Fools with an interest in the media space should stay tuned on this one, and perhaps slowly salt away positions in the company at the same, um, time.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions or comments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.