For Yahoo, Tiger scandal better than Michael Jackson

December 8, 2009

Celebrity deaths are big news. But nothing warms a media executive’s heart more than a good celebrity sex scandal.

“God bless Tiger. This week we got a huge uplift.” Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz told a crowd of investors in New York on Tuesday at the UBS Media and Communications Conference.

Reuters

Reuters

Bartz noted that the Tiger Woods story has filtered through all of Yahoo’s key online properties, from front page news to websites dedicated to sports and gossip.

Asked if Wood’s recently alleged extracurricular activities would help Yahoo meet its quarterly financial targets, Bartz joked that it absolutely would, and added that the scandal has been better for business than Michael Jackson dying. “It’s kind of hard to put an ad up next to a funeral.”

The golfing phenom came up again later during Bartz’s appearance, in a discussion about charging for online news (as News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch is increasingly interested in doing) or keeping the content freely-available and subsidized by advertisements.

Bartz said that certain publishers may decide to charge for online news, but cautioned that the news “better be very specialized.”

Articles about Tiger Woods will not be able to sit behind a paywall, Bartz said. “There’s too many places that have that.”

5 comments

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Michael Jackson was making headlines through the course of almost six presidents, he was internationally known as the king of pop. If his death brought fewer gossip mongers than a cheating scandal, then it was because we only had to hear it once.

Posted by ArthurDent | Report as abusive

The Yahoo CEO is so crude, everything is measured in terms of dollars for Yahoo. No humanity or sensitivity

Posted by blueshark | Report as abusive

Yahoo’s CEO Carol Bartz is cold hearted, obviously she is in need of a visit by three ghosts.

Posted by FKF | Report as abusive

Carol Bartz, like so many women at the ‘top of the tree’ in the Corporate world, plays to the gallery with her ‘gee-aren’t-I-the-ball-breaker’ observations about the effect of Tiger Woods and Michael Jackson on Yahoo traffic. And while it is hard to have much sympathy for the recent revelations about Woods, I think even the most cynical amongst us would surely agree that Mr Jackson – when alive, endured more than most. Mr Jackson is survived by three young children who clearly will have much to bear ahead of them. Dispensing with the unspoken rules of common decency regarding the death of someone’s loved one for the sake of appearing ‘tough’ to her business peers, Bartz compares the loss of their father to a ‘gain’ for something as inconsequential as the making of money. Sadly, she has revealed herself to be not only heartless, but worse – staggeringly cheap.

Posted by Darcey1 | Report as abusive

With Dean Swift terminally spinning in his grave, Ms. Bartz ought to change the name of her trashy company from his original trademark for complete morons to… “Jawohl!”

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive

[...] to Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz for being brutally honest with her statement, "God bless Tiger. This week we got a huge uplift." Fly’s proud [...]