More Boo-Hoo in Yahoo shares

yahoo-sign.jpgWho was it that wrote about the “The Road Not Taken”? Robert Frost?

That’s somewhat ironic, because you have to figure Yahoo shareholders are feeling pretty frosty toward Yahoo’s management now that its stock price is wallowing around $13 , near five-year lows, amid a weakening display advertising outlook.

The road not taken? Microsoft’s offer of $33 a share for Yahoo. That deal died in the summer, before the global banking crisis had reared its ugly head. What was once a $47 billion deal would be worth significantly less today. 

Yahoo’s premium display business is getting roughed up by a slow-down by advertisers such as financial companies and automakers, and caution among online advertising customers.

But don’t assume that since Microsoft didnt marry Yahoo, that the software maker doesnt find the online search giant, you know, attractive. American Technology Research analyst Rob Sanderson says Microsoft may make a new offer “as Yahoo shares decline and Microsoft struggles in its online services business.”


Keep an eye on:

    Wachovia Securities cut its outlook for advertising spending and said the worsening outlook would mean lower-than-expected earnings and revenue for Interpublic Group of Companies Inc, Omnicom Group Inc, and MDC Partners (Reuters) Google is making an aggressive play in the online gaming world, as the search giant announced it will expand its AdSense product to various Web-based gaming sites and platforms (Hollywood Reporter)

APT question: A big win or an empty promise?


Cheaper? Easier?!??? Those words are the lifeblood of the advertising community.

Now Chief Executive Jerry Yang is using them to tout Yahoo’s new advertising system, telling Reuters in an interview that the so-called APT will make life better for advertisers and publisher.

“This system allows cross-selling between sales forces, it allows us to have visibility of what pricing is happening and where,” Yang said in the interview.

More talks between Yahoo and AOL? Why not?

yahoo2.jpgHere we go again… It seems that Yahoo’s new board has given the thumbs up to a new round of talks about Time Warner’s AOL, according to a report in the Financial Times

The newspaper says that the board’s move potentially reignites “negotiations for a combination of the two internet businesses that stalled earlier this year.”

According to one person familiar with the company’s thinking, the Yahoo board approved a new round of discussions with AOL, though active deal negotiations are not underway at this stage.

Financial upheaval keeps ad men jumping

wallstreet.jpg The turmoil of Wall Street is keep Madison Avenue’s creative types on their toes.

As the New York Times points out, “The biggest challenge, executives say, is trying to keep up with the stunning economic and financial events and the resulting mood swings, as evidenced by the roller-coaster ride from the despair of Wednesday to the euphoria of Friday. All that makes it difficult to determine how to best persuade shoppers to open their wallets.”

The newspaper reports that New York Life, an insurance company, last week asked their agency, Taxi, to create a new round of ads to play up the company’s reliability in the aftermath of the AIG meltdown.

Yahoo! Yahoo gets a makeover

yahoo1.jpg Yahoo is about to make a radical change to its home page — mostly trying to make it a more personal experience. It begins testing the page, on a small basis, today, Reuters reports.

For any of you out there who get a chance to play around with it, let us know what you think.

For the moment, here’s what were looking at…

The new home page relies on slick personalization technology that allows users who have signed into their Yahoo account to see when new information arrives not just on Yahoo sites, like e-mail or news, but off-Yahoo on sites such as eBay Inc’s auctions or Google Inc’s Gmail service.

AOL changes look, opens email, gets more social

aol_sept_mock_v5.jpgAOL has relaunched with a redesigned page. It has also unveiled a new ‘every email’ feature that allows consumers to access multiple email services and integrates access to social networking sites.

Effectively AOL is getting more ‘social’ by allowing users to access not just AOL and AIM email on their AOL page but also Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail. Paid Content points out that Hotmail is not directly accessible through, so AOL is providing a link that can be inserted in one of the module email slots and and a link to Microsoft feedback so people can ask for the feature.

 In addition to being more open, AOL hopes the email aggregation will help recapture some of the user attention it lost before people leaving the ISP were allowed to keep their AOL addressesPaid Content.

Advertisers: Not so fast Yahoo…

yahoo.jpgThe Google-Yahoo deal is coming under more fire – this time from advertisers.

The Association of National Advertisers has sent a letter to U.S. regulators objecting to the proposed Internet search advertising partnership between Yahoo and Google, supplying critics with even more fodder to shoot down the deal.

Essentially, the ANA is saying that the deal will give too much control over online advertising to one partnership. The group’s stance isn’t to be taken lightly, since they represent big players like General Motors and Procter & Gamble.

Yahoo! The musical!

yahoo1.jpgA cursory viewing of “Mamma Mia!” or “Xanadu” is enough to teach anyone that you really can dance your troubles away. Yahoo employees apparently have discovered this too, and engaged Matt Harding to show them how to shuffle off the blues with the old soft-shoe.

Harding is the star of Where the Hell Is Matt, a website that chronicles the hoofer’s travels around the globe as he sets up a camera and dances in a variety of parks, seasides and cities from Sao Paulo to the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas — often . He showed up at Yahoo not long ago to teach the gang there what Johnny Cash told us years ago: Get rhythm when you get the blues.

Still, when you want a song to cheer you up, you’d think that a more uptempo number would generally be the thing (Certain media reporters reserve alone time with the Pet Shop Boys for exactly this purpose). (Editor’s note: Not all media reporters here do this.)

Just what Yahoo needs: more controversy

chad.jpgHey, did someone mention hanging chads?

Not yet, but one of Yahoo Inc’s largest and most critical shareholders, Capital Research Global Investors, has asked for a probe of last week’s shareholder vote, which was widely seen as a pat on the back for Chief Executive Jerry Yang.

Yang, who has been under pressure since Yahoo and Microsoft failed to agree to a deal, received 85.4 percent support in the results announced on Friday, with the remaining votes withheld in protest.

“I guess Jerry Yang didn’t come out of the meeting as unscathed as it seemed,” Canaccord Adams analyst Colin Gillis said of the uncertainty raised by calls for a recount.

Yahoo investors wax eloquent

yahoo.jpgSome Yahoo shareholders are mad, some are sad and some have a remarkable handle on the English language.

Despite the odds going into today’s annual meeting, Yahoo’s board and CEO Jerry Yang won a huge endorsement from shareholders. Yang alone won more than 85 percent of votes cast despite calls by some for his ouster.

But that didn’t dampen the festivities at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. Here are a few choice quotes from the meeting, where investors were invited to lament over failed deal talks with Microsoft, rich compensation for executives and Yahoo’s stance on Internet censorship.