Yahoo shakes up content team

Jeff Dossett to replace Scott Moore

Yahoo is shaking up its content management team at the same time it struggles to save its advertising partnership with Google.

Netco on Monday tapped Microsoft vet Jeff Dossett as senior veep of U.S. audience, which puts him in charge of all content operations, including the Santa Monica-based media group.

He replaces Scott Moore, who is ankling the company and is expected to leave by the end of the year.

News comes as Yahoo is revising the terms of its search advertising deal with Google in hopes of securing approval of the Justice Dept., according to several reports. The revised proposal, submitted over the weekend, the partnership would span two years, not 10, and limits the amount of revenue Yahoo could generate from the deal to 25% of its total search coin.

Yahoo and Google inked their partnership, through which the former company would display some search ads provided by the latter and split revenue, in June after Microsoft failed for a second time to buy Yahoo. The companies initially agreed to delay implementing the deal until October to give the feds time for review, then further postponed it last month when approval was not forthcoming (Daily Variety, Oct. 6).

At the time, Yahoo and Google both characterized the delay as a brief one. However, the feds had signaled that it wouldn’t be a cakewalk when they brought in former Mouse House vice chair Sandy Litvack to investigate the deal. Litvack had been Justice’s antitrust chief under President Jimmy Carter.

Yahoo and Google both declined to comment on the revised deal, originally reported by the Wall Street Journal, but confirmed they continue to work with the feds.

Yahoo had forecast the deal would bring an additional $800 million in annual revenues, but the new restrictions could cut that in half. Netco is counting on the coin to help boost its fortunes as it lays off 1,500 staffers.

Company’s problems can be seen in the Santa Monica-based Yahoo Media Group, where Dossett’s hiring marks the third exec shift in as many years. Though most of its sites remain at or near the top of traffic rankings, Yahoo’s Southern California branch has never found a consistent strategy since it was founded by Lloyd Braun four years ago.

Moore was recruited by Braun to oversee news, finance and other websites in 2005, but his portfolio expanded to include sports after the former ABC prexy ankled two years ago and Vince Broady, who was in charge of games and entertainment, took over. In late 2007, Broady left and Moore was elevated to head all the content operations in Santa Monica.

Dossett’s appointment leaves Yahoo Media Group without a senior exec permanently based there, as he will continue to live in Washington and maintain offices in both Santa Monica and Yahoo’s corporate HQ in Sunnyvale.

He will report to Hillary Schneider, exec veep of Yahoo U.S., who took over all domestic business ops for the company after a reorg in June. Dossett was previously exec producer and general manager for Microsoft’s MSN Media Network.

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