time_warner_logoUPDATE: Ed Adler only informed boss Jeff Bewkes yesterday of his desire to leave. In a sea of corporate communications assholes, especially when it comes to Big Media, Ed Adler has always been that rare professional who was able to advocate for Time Warner and yet at the same time maintain honest and open relations with the media. This through often trying circumstances, especially when the company was flailing, the executives failing, the stock falling, and basically everything had turned to shit. He also understood the business media’s role to probe and generally pour salt into a company’s open wounds. Yet he did this without insults, or intimidation, or arrogance. He was a mensch. So it is with incredible sadness that I report his departure from the company. Believe me when I say the Time Warner press release below is accurate: no one wanted to see him go:

NEW YORK, February 12, 2010 – Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) today announced that Edward Adler, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, will leave the company after a transition period.

“Ed has made an enormous contribution to the evolution of Time Warner over the course of his career, expertly guiding our communications efforts through some of the company’s most momentous changes,” said Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Time Warner. “Ed’s strategic initiatives supported last year’s reconfiguration of the company and built our momentum as we move forward focused on Time Warner’s great strengths. It was only because we are now on such solid ground that, after discussing it with him, I reluctantly accepted Ed’s decision to look for new opportunities to apply his talents and capabilities. We all wish him the very best in the next phase of his career, and I personally appreciate his willingness to stay on for a transition.”

Mr. Adler said: “I have spent my entire career at Time Warner and, with the company on very solid footing under Jeff’s leadership, I felt this was the right moment to finally make the change I had wanted to make for some time. I am grateful to Jeff and to all the other exceptional colleagues and friends I’ve worked with over the course of a career filled with variety and challenge. It has been my privilege to lead a terrific team of communications professionals, and I know they will continue to serve the company well. I will always have a special connection to Time Warner, and I have enormous confidence in its future.”

In his current position, Mr. Adler oversees all aspects of the development and implementation of Time Warner’s corporate communications strategy, including media relations, as well as internal and external communications. Mr. Adler also supervises the interaction and coordination of the communications functions of Time Warner and its operating divisions, working closely with the chief communications officers of Time Warner’s business units. He also is responsible for overseeing the company’s program of branded public events and activities at its world headquarters in Time Warner Center.

Before assuming his current position, Mr. Adler was Time Warner’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications since 2000. He previously served as Vice President, Corporate Communications since 1997.

Mr. Adler began his career at Time Inc. while still in college, and worked as a reporter at Time magazine, a programming executive at Home Box Office and a news editor in Time Inc.’s magazine development area before moving to corporate communications for the company. He is a graduate of Vassar College and has an M.A. in journalism from New York University.