Media giants mull Yahoo deals

April 10, 2008

The Time Square Yahoo sign is seen in New YorkWhat does the future hold for Yahoo? With so many media titans in the picture, it’s anyone’s guess how this merger mashup will end.

Just as it appears more likely that Yahoo’s days as an independent entity is drawing to a close, comes a possible deal that would lead to a bigger and better Yahoo.

News Corp is considering joining Microsoft in its bid, which would bring in MySpace and create a more formidable rival to Google.

But Yahoo is closing in on a deal with Time Warner Inc that would fold AOL, excluding its legacy dial-up Internet access operations, into a combined Yahoo company.

Oh, and Yahoo is testing a Google ad search system as a potential way to keep Microsoft at arm’s length.

Got all that?

(WSJ)
(New York Times)
(Reuters )

Keep an eye on:

  • “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric is likely to leave the network well before her contract ends in 2011. (WSJ). On the other hand, CBS says “we have no plans for any changes regarding Katie or the broadcast.” (LA Times) If Couric is eased out as anchor, CBS plans to offer her either a syndicated talk show or a full-time role on “60 Minutes.” (Washington Post)
  • HBO has named television agent Sue Naegle as its new entertainment president. (LA Times )
  • Sling Media is expected to miss its second quarter goal of releasing SlingCatcher — a set-top box that brings video content from a Slingbox to another TV in a house, or from an external hard drive. (CNET )

(Photo: Reuters)

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In an effort to prevent Microsoft Corp from fulfilling its buyout plans, Yahoo Inc is close to striking a deal with Time Warner Inc, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Under the terms being discussed between Yahoo and Time Warner, the latter would fold its AOL unit into Yahoo and make a cash investment in return for about 20 percent of the combined entity, people familiar with the situation said,” The Journal reported in its article. Furthermore, there exist a number of current relationships through common entities that could lead to a strong partnership between Yahoo and Time Warner. An IntellectSpace Knowledge Map illustrates the connections to Time Warner that could help Yahoo land a deal. Perhaps the strongest connection linking Yahoo and Time Warner runs through KB Home, where Yahoo Director Ronald W Burkle is a Director along with Stephen F Bollenbach, who is also a Director at Time Warner. Bollenbach may also be in contact with Yahoo Director Gary L Wilson, because both were previously corporate executives at Disney during overlapping years.