AOL plans to cut one-third of its work force, or about 2,500 jobs, in an effort to trim some $300 million in costs as part of the Web company’s planned spin-off from Time Warner Inc.

The struggling Web pioneer, which is now focused primarily on advertising-supported content, said on Thursday that it would start with a volunteer buyout program and move on to involuntary layoffs if enough workers do not step up.

AOL said the layoffs would result in restructuring charges of up to $200 million. It said that substantially all the charges would be incurred from the date of the spin-off through the first half of 2010.

 
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