Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Media Unit to Get a Reorg Too!

Besides the more massive management reorganization that new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz could announce this week, as BoomTown reported on Friday, the Internet company’s powerful media arm might also see a drastic shift in management structure even sooner.

According to several sources inside the company, U.S. Audience SVP Jeff Dossett (pictured here) has been working on the changes for a while, part of an overall change in how Yahoo (YHOO) makes and delivers content. The new organization could be announced this week too.

Under a plan being considered, the media unit will be split into three parts: Vertical programming, network programming and search monetization.

It is not clear under this new set-up if Yahoo will keep its more traditional structure of having powerful general managers, each in charge of its big properties.

But that seems likely to be scaled back, at the very least, since the shift in management comes after some major recent changes in the way content is made, as was also reported here last week.

Already, the media group’s product development for all its major properties–such as News, Sports and Finance–is set to be moved to a central global product development organization at Yahoo’s HQ in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Until now, such development has been mostly done by individual media properties, many of which are located down south, in Santa Monica.

The argument for the shift posits that centralizing the product development of a Yahoo media offering drives efficiencies, saves money, eliminates redundancies and accelerates growth across the world.

Those who do not like the idea think it is wrong to separate the development of a product from the programming because the two are intricately dependent and need to be tweaked delicately.

Dossett will remain overall head of media efforts, but there is a lot of speculation inside the group about who will head the three new parts of media unit. But that is still being worked out by Dossett and his boss, U.S. head Hilary Schneider, and is still not decided.

But several inside sources said that vertical programming is probably a lock to roll up under current Sports GM Jimmy Pitaro.

Former “60 Minutes” producer and News GM Neeraj Khemlani seems be the most likely candidate to head network programming, but that is not yet complete.

And Tim Mayer–who is now VP of search monetization and distribution–would probably remain in his job, with perhaps even more monetization duties added.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik