America Online Inc. hired Mary Cheney, the 36-year-old daughter of Vice President Cheney, to offer advice on building up Web site businesses, a company spokesman said yesterday.

Cheney starts the job later this year and will work primarily with longtime AOL executive Ted Leonsis, who as president of AOL's Audience Business focuses on increasing viewership of its Web sites, said Nicholas Graham, a spokesman for the Dulles-based company. He declined to disclose additional details about her position.

"Her knowledge and experience in the public policy and business world will be helpful," Graham said. "This is a very busy time for us."

AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc., is in the midst of trying to shift from its original business selling monthly Internet-access subscriptions to one that generates advertising revenue by offering free news and entertainment content on its Web sites, such as and

Cheney worked as an executive for Coors Brewing Co. and on her father and President Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns. Since then, she signed a $1 million book deal with Simon & Schuster Inc. to write her memoir as the first openly gay member of a vice president's family.

Leonsis, who is also majority owner of the Washington Capitals hockey team, met Cheney socially through a shared interest in sports marketing, said a person familiar with their friendship. The two discussed a potential job several times earlier this year, but Cheney wanted to complete the book first.

Cheney could not be located for comment, and AOL declined to make her available.

Staff researcher Richard Drezen contributed to this report.