Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo's Scott Moore Speaks!

Scott Moore, who runs the Yahoo Media Group, sat down with BoomTown at the company’s Santa Monica headquarters last week, to talk about the future direction of content at the company.

While the Media unit has had its ups and downs over the years about exactly what it should be–such as the controversial Hollywood-esque Lloyd Braun strategy–one thing that Yahoo (YHOO) has consistently done well is to aggregate and distribute its own and others’ content.

So well, in fact, that May’s comScore monthly unique visitor numbers show that sites like Yahoo News (38.8 million), Sports (22.2 million), Finance (18.5 million), Entertainment News (12.5 million), TV (15.3 million) and Games (18.3 million) are the No. 1 destinations for their genres on the Web.

Overall, the media properties hit 70 million uniques monthly.

That’s probably a plus these days, given all the turmoil around the company in the wake of the Microsoft (MSFT) takeover bid and the ensuing proxy fight mess–coming to an annual meeting near Santa Clara soon!–with activist investor Carl Icahn.

The whole mess has thrown Yahoo’s future into question, demoralized employees and given the company a decidedly sad-sack image, in spite of all the powerful assets it has like its many media properties.

Moore (pictured here) came to Yahoo to work for Braun in mid-2005, after toiling for many years at–wait for it–Microsoft, running MSNBC, Slate and MSN.

(I met him back when he was at Microsoft, in fact, where he tended more to suits and ties and geeky glasses–and I have the picture to prove it–rather than his current hipster SoCal look.)

His portfolio grew when Braun’s other No. 2–Vince Broady–was re-orged out of his job last December, giving Moore purview over the whole Media Group.

In Yahoo’s latest reorganization, Moore now reports to U.S. head Hilary Schneider, in a move to better align its media and advertising sales.

Moore and his staff have tried a range of large and small experiments in original content, some of which have worked and some of which have not.

Interestingly, Yahoo has not abandoned its original content effort at all, doing newsy programming like political debates and even an online interview with President George Bush.

But the company seems to be settling into a pattern best exemplified by its recently launched Tech Ticker, which is a combination of Yahoo’s own inexpensively produced but well-done content and videos and that of outside contributors (AllThingsD content is featured there, for example).

So, as part of our exciting new “Meet the Yahoos: Survivors Edition” series, here’s a video where I chat with Moore about all that, ad monetization and more:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus