AOL stock is flying higher today on stronger-than-expected8 percent global advertising growth. I snagged CEO Tim Armstrong in a 'First on CNBC" interview to hear his strategy to turn the company around. But first I had to ask about the reports that have been swirling for months that Armstrong shopped AOL to Yahoo . Armstrong was adamant that he never met with Yahoo or proposed selling AOL to Yahoo.
Armstrong insisted that he's not interested in selling the company. He told me he sees the same opportunity he saw when he left Google to join AOL -- he wants to "build the next great media company for the digital age and focus on brand advertising."
AOL stock may be soaring today, but there's no denying that the company faces some fundamental issues -- this quarter the company swung to a loss and revenues declined. And while overall advertising grew, domestic display ad growth declined sequentially from the second quarter to the third quarter.
Armstrong insists, that driven by advertising growth, the company is very much on track, with three quarters of display advertising growth. So why was traffic flat with last year, despite acquiring TechCrunch and Huffington Post? Armstrong explains that the company basically stopped buying traffic.
The company's still dragged down by the dialup business -- the question is how fast advertising can grow to compensate for those declines. Armstrong is bullish, saying he sees more major advertisers moving into the space.
Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com