Yahoo Focuses on Tentpole Events With New Head

Published on April 20, 2011
by Kara Swisher

At least one thing in yesterday’s lackluster first-quarter earnings report for Yahoo that got its Microsoft-search-bashing CEO Carol Bartz excited was the Silicon Valley Internet giant’s traffic gusher for big tentpole events such as the Super Bowl and the Oscars.

In fact, Bartz practically sounded like a gushy “Entertainment Tonight” flunky when talking to Wall Street analysts about Yahoo’s Oscar news, games and other offerings. She proudly noted the site’s efforts generated more than a billion pages views.

There will be more of that, it seems, with the elevation of Yahoo exec Sam Silverstein (pictured here) as head of its special events coverage. Sources said it will be a major area of emphasis, given obvious advertiser interest.

It’s all part of a lot of dramatic changes being made in the media unit at Yahoo, which is run by its newish Audience head Mickie Rosen.

Previous to his new duties, Silverstein has been mostly focused on major sports events for Yahoo, but has also been managing content on its front page and in tech and green arenas.

The move to taking over more comes after Lawrence Yee–who led Yahoo entertainment efforts and was once the managing editor of its omg! celebrity site–headed to, the competing and much sassier celebrity site, owned by AOL. His new job is as managing editor of its TooFab site, TMZ overlord Harvey Levin confirmed to me.

Also gone recently is Annette Cardwell, who was managing editor of Yahoo’s Shine women’s site, who is now working as director of digital content and games at Future US, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Now it will be up to Silverstein, who is well-regarded at Yahoo, to run the upcoming Royal Wedding coverage by himself.

William and Kate, as well as Bartz, will be watching.

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