Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Yahoo Video Head Erin McPherson Heads for Maker Studios, the Giant YouTube Network

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images Entertainment

Erin McPherson, the Yahoo executive who has been in charge of the portal’s video efforts, is leaving the company. She’s going to Maker Studios, the giant YouTube network that’s trying to build a business outside of the world’s biggest video site.

People familiar with McPherson’s plans said she is going to be Maker’s “chief content officer,” reporting to executive chairman Ynon Kreiz. I’ve asked Yahoo and Maker for comment. (Update: Maker has issued a press release announcing the hire.)

(Second update: Yahoo has now confirmed the hire. “We can confirm that Erin McPherson is leaving Yahoo,” a company spokeswoman wrote in an email. “We thank Erin for her many contributions to Yahoo and wish her all the best.”)

Maker represents a group of video makers — like PewDiePie, YouTube’s biggest star (for now) — who generate four billion views a month. All of those views are generated on YouTube, but Maker, like other big YouTube players, is trying to build a business that also makes money from sources outside YouTube — like sites Maker owns and operates.

In September, Maker raised a $26 million round, which came less than a year after it raised $36 million from investors including Time Warner.

McPherson’s move follows former Yahoo media head Mickie Rosen’s departure this summer. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who has been wooing celebrities like Ryan Seacrest to join her rebuilding effort, has been looking for some time to hire a media executive with big credentials from the TV world.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald