Yahoo! realigns media efforts

Katz tops Netco content

A year and a half after Lloyd Braun joined the Netco as media group topper, Yahoo! is reorganizing the group and putting one exec in charge of original content.

Netco has named David Katz, a former CBS exec who has been overseeing sports and entertainment properties, to head the new Yahoo! Studios, a cross-divisional unit that will oversee original content development, production and partnerships.

In addition, Yahoo! has recruited Vince Broady to a new post overseeing all of its entertainment, games and youth properties. He was previously senior VP of entertainment at CNET Networks, where he oversaw sites including GameSpot, MP3.com, TV.com and Metacritic.com.

Both work in Yahoo!’s Santa Monica media HQ and report to Braun.

Broady takes over not only entertainment sites such as Yahoo! Movies and Yahoo! TV, previously run by Katz, but also Yahoo! Games and the Yahooligans site for kids.

Katz, who will continue to oversee Yahoo! Sports, is now the point man for those looking to pitch projects to the Netco, as well as traditional media companies looking to forge partnerships.

He’ll also oversee Yahoo’s internal development. Contrary to expectations that the company would get into network-scale production when Braun formed the Yahoo! Media Group in Santa Monica, Netco has only a handful of large-scale projects in the works, such as reality show “The Runner” (Daily Variety, Jan. 16). None has yet received a greenlight.

At a recent event for analysts, Braun said original content is “salt and pepper on the meal, not the meal itself.”

Still, the appointment of Katz as point man should relieve Braun of personally dealing with pitches from agents and producers looking to be part of his company’s garnish.

Yahoo! has focused most of its efforts in the media space on short-term partnerships, such as the Webcast of Howard Stern’s live event celebrating his move to Sirius, which generated 4.4 million video streams, or its recent partnership with Paramount for exclusive content around the “Mission: Impossible IIII” premiere.

Such efforts were previously produced separately by Yahoo!’s music or movies division; now they will all be coordinated by Yahoo! Studios.

Netco is also the online partner for CBS Paramount TV’s “Entertainment Tonight” and the Eye’s “60 Minutes.”

Broady has been replaced at CNET by Suzie Reider, formerly senior VP of sales and marketing for the entertainment group.

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