MediaFile

Facebook hotter than MySpace: Yahoo CEO Bartz

Facebook is hot, MySpace is not.  We didn’t say it, Yahoo’s new chief executive Carol Bartz did.

During Yahoo’s quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, one analysts asked Bartz what Yahoo’s strategy is for going after the younger demographic, i.e. the generation whose lives play out on social networks.

“That was one of the questions I asked the (Yahoo) board when I was speaking to them in November and December,” Bartz replied. “I have a 20-year-old and also two kids in their late 20s, so I’m very familiar with the Facebooks of the world and before that, MySpace, and see what the kids do. So I’m very curious about that demographic.”

As for Yahoo’s plans to go after the 15-25 age group, Bartz had two caveats on how aggressively the web company should pursue youngsters:

“They do grow up, and it’s interesting watching the older ones… they’re much more interested in looking at Yahoo Finance and Yahoo News. They don’t have all day to (put up) pictures on Facebook and chat constantly because guess what, they’re off the dole.”

Bartz’s idea of a joke: Yahoo could buy New York Times

Wall Street analysts pestered new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz with all kinds of questions during her first quarterly earnings call, and she answered as candidly as she could, frequently pointing out the fact that she’s still learning the ropes and getting to know the business.

But Bartz couldn’t resist the chance to crack a joke when Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster asked her about Yahoo’s roadmap for 2009, and whether investors can expect any guidelines about when things might start rolling.

“Well, Gene, I thought I’d buy The New York Times tomorrow,” Bartz said.

Media is dizzy for inauguration

It’s inauguration day – and that means media will be going all out. From wires to newspapers to TV and radio, correspondents will be covering every possible angle of the event. And they won’t have a problem finding an audience.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that this could be the most widely viewed inauguration in U.S. history, surpassing the 42 million who watched Ronald Reagan’s first swearing in.

Like everything surrounding the 2008 presidential campaign, the inauguration of Barack Obama dawns with broadcast media swinging for the fences. Not only are the usual suspects bringing their A teams, but cablers as diverse as BET, TV One, Al Jazeera and ESPN are offering live coverage of Obama’s swearing-in. MTV will focus on inaugural coverage in the evening.

It’s Super Bowl time and that means beer ads

We recently wrote that advertisers have even more riding on this Super Bowl than usual. There may be no better illustration of this than Anheuser-Busch InBev, brewer of such Super Bowl marketing staples as Bud and Bud Light.

Yesterday, the company gave the press a glimpse of some of its advertising for this year’s big game. The company has purchased 4-1/2 minutes worth of advertising time, once again making it the biggest Super Bowl advertiser.

At first glimpse, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s plans don’t seem that different than other years. It will go for humor in Bud Light spots and emotion in its Budweiser spots, using the Clydesdale horses. (Actually, it will run a record 3 Clydesdale commercials during the game).

Yahoo: new boss, and (almost) everyone’s happy!

We’ve had two months to ruminate, speculate and analyze about who will take over as Yahoo chief executive after co-founder Jerry Yang who decided 18 months in the hotseat was enough for him.

Carol Bartz, former chief executive of Autodesk, was appointed CEO on Tuesday after her name had been floated ”on sources” a few days earlier in various reports.

Yahoo shares were flat on Wednesday morning and most Wall Street analysts viewed the appointment as a positive as it clears the way for Yahoo to do some sort of merger/outsourcing deal with Microsoft.

Obama greenlights analog TV for another season

After all the excitement, endless public service announcement ads and electronics retailers salivating over anticipated high-definition TV sales, it turns out that the United States might not be switching to digital television just yet.

President-elect Barack Obama is backing a move to delay a mandatory switch to digital TV signals on Feb. 17 because viewers might not be prepared. Also, the government has run out of $40 coupons to help pay for converter boxes.

The idea that as many as 8 million homes (according to Nielsen data) might lose TV reception in a few weeks is not the kind of headache a new White House administration wants to deal with so it’s perhaps not surprising talk of a delay, possibly up to four months, is gathering support.

Microsoft, Yahoo, restless pigeons and balloons

Have you ever watched pigeons almost take flight as someone approaches, but after a brief flapping of wings decide to sit tight? That was the sense we got from reading the stories that knocked down the latest rumor about who will buy Internet search company Yahoo.

Here’s the story, posted by Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch blog:

Interest in troubled Internet giant Yahoo has not waned, it just took a break for the holidays.

A group of well known Silicon Valley executives and top investment bankers are putting together a Yahoo takeover deal that would be financed largely from debt supplied by Microsoft, we’ve learned from sources with knowledge of the proposed transaction.

Ballmer upstaged at first-ever CES keynote?

After watching Bill Gates deliver Microsoft’s keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show for 12 years, CEO Steve Ballmer finally got his moment in the sun on Wednesday.

We were rooting for you Steve, but next time, tell your friends not to steal your thunder.

First, it was Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg leaking the news that the U.S. phone company has picked Microsoft as its default mobile search provider. It’s a big win for Microsoft, which has been lagging behind Google and Yahoo on the Web, but Ballmer didn’t get to be the first to tell the world. Seidenberg stole the spotlight, announcing the deal at a Citi investor conference earlier on Wednesday. We were hoping Microsoft would take back the limelight by giving us more details when it was Ballmer’s turn at CES, but alas, all the CEO said was, “I’m also thrilled to announce a new long term partnership with Verizon to offer our live services on all Verizon phones.”

Watch Gannett layoffs in slow motion

It’s layoff week at Gannett — even the second N and T might be redundant.

The largest U.S. newspaper publisher and owner of USA Today, the nation’s biggest-selling daily paper, is slashing payroll just in time for the holidays. We read about layoffs everywhere these days, but if you want to see the slow-motion car crash version of how Gannett is doing it, look to Gannett Blog, run by former company reporter Jim Hopkins.

With no newspaper job to keep him busy, Hopkins chronicles nearly every event that he hears about Gannett. That includes a dose of rumor, but much of what he reports is more right than wrong.

Icahn helps himself to some Yahoo

Activist investor Carl Icahn helped himself to some early Thanksgiving turkey, buying more shares in Yahoo on Wednesday.

Here’s Silicon Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget with the basics:

Well, don’t accuse Carl Icahn of cutting and running. After losing $1 billion on his massive Yahoo bet–he bought 69 million shares last spring at about $25–Carl Icahn has (figuratively speaking) doubled down.

In the past three days, the raider has bought another 6.7 million shares of Yahoo for about $65 million, bringing his total to 75.6 million shares. At today’s closing price of $10.58, Carl’s stake is worth $800 million, about $900 million less than he paid for his original position. The 76 million shares amount to 5.4% of the company.