Lots of Yahoo! News

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First, there’s this article from the WSJ (sub req’d) about video advertising and Yahoo!’s efforts to defend and grow its share of brand dollars going into online (and online video):

On Tuesday, Yahoo executives tried to persuade media buyers to give it more consideration when figuring out their ad spending. “We think we should be a bigger part of your early planning,” Yahoo Chairman and Chief Executive Terry S. Semel told media buyers.

To make their case, Yahoo executives spent lots of time telling media buyers how the Web portal could help them reach targeted audiences centered around defined areas of interest. These include Yahoo’s seven million newsgroups, and its Yahoo Answers site, where advertisers can target people asking questions about specific topics. Yahoo also discussed its wireless plans.

But Yahoo didn’t shrink from taking shots at the competition. Advertising only on television means reaching audiences “who may or may not be interested in the product being advertised,” said Wenda Harris Millard, Yahoo’s chief sales officer. She also admonished buyers to remember that 17% of media consumption is online, but only 6% of media dollars are spent there. “Clearly, a disconnect,” she added.

TechCrunch has two posts of interest about Yahoo! The first is a verbatim letter from Sue Decker (PaidContent also has it here) announcing promotions and new reporting structures within the company. It’s a long and relatively tedious letter to non-insiders. But here’s the part about local, worth repeating:

Local Markets & Commerce Division (LMC, formerly Marketplaces). Hilary Schneider has been promoted to EVP of LMC and the publisher network. She will continue to run the Marketplaces businesses (Shopping, Travel, Autos, Real Estate, Local, Hot Jobs, Personals), which are being re-branded Local Markets & Commerce and, as discussed above, she will also oversee our publisher strategy. Hilary has extensive experience managing the operations of large publishing companies in both digital and print media, including Knight Ridder and Red Herring, and I am confident in her ability to lead and grow both the YPN and LMC organizations.

So Hilary Schneider becomes the key person at Yahoo! regarding local and classifieds. This integration makes sense and she’s a very competent and capable person. However, in the larger context of the letter (as Arrington suggests) it seems like the company has got maybe a few too many SVPs running around. (But being elevated to SVP status means access to better food at Yahoo!.)

The second TechCrunch Yahoo! post (also announced here) is about the creation of a new “suggestions” site to take in and rank community feedback. It’s organized by vertical/category.

This is a great idea. However, some people (at Digg) are upset apparently that Yahoo! has chosen to use the same interface for the site. (Here’s more from Loren Baker.)

Finally there’s been some discussion over the past couple of days about whether the Yahoo!-newspaper consortium was moving from Jobs into Autos as the second part of their collaboration. Classified Intelligence reported the answer to that question was a “no.” That may be true in the very short term, but the longer-term answer must definitely be “yes.”

For both sides to get full value there must be deeper interpenetration and syndication of content. Trust is the key to making this work for both sides and determining how deep it will go.

I speak to people at Yahoo! on a pretty frequent basis and get different perspectives on the organization accordingly. It seems to me that one of the “big picture” challenges is not only to make the org. structure more “accountable” (as the reorg is intended to do) but to reinvigorate the entire culture there and regain some sense of excitement and energy about being at Yahoo! (at least among the rank and file).

Clearly many people at Yahoo! would disagree with that last remark but that’s my vicarious perception.

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LostRemote also posts on the Digg backlash to the new Suggestions.

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