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Yahoo adds hot link to Hollywood

Braun to flex showbiz ties online

Lloyd Braun is shifting from the TV to the PC.

The former ABC Entertainment TV Group chairman has been tapped by Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel to head the Netco’s media and entertainment division. He’ll be in charge of most of Yahoo!’s major content offerings, including its movies, TV, music, games, news, sports and kids’ Web sites.

Appointment of another Hollywood heavy-hitter under Semel reflects Yahoo’s growing emphasis on entertainment content to attract Netizens and ongoing transition from a dot-com into a mature media company.

Creative cred

Braun, who played a pivotal role in the development of ABC’s frosh hit “Lost,” immediately gives Yahoo access to a slew of top TV producers, writers and dealmakers who might not otherwise consider devoting their energies to original Web-based content.

He replaces former senior VP of media and entertainment Jim Moloshok, who shifted during the summer to a new role as senior VP of media and content acquisition.

Braun talked to Semel in July, a couple of months after he ankled the then-troubled Alphabet web and as Moloshok was preparing to transition to his next post.

“Very shortly after having my first meeting with Terry, I felt I had to do this job,” he said. “It feels like everything I’ve done up to now — dealmaking, business skills, programming, relationships with suppliers and talent — can be put to use here, and at a company that’s doing remarkably well.”

Braun will oversee major business decisions, programming and content relationships for all of Yahoo’s entertainment and media divisions. Exec said he’ll continue to focus primarily on expanding the company’s partnerships with offline media companies but hopes to recruit some of the talent with whom he’s developed relationships to work on online projects.

‘A real appetite’

“It’s important first that I learn the business and get my hands dirty,” he said. “But ultimately, I can tell you I think there is a real appetite in the creative community to be in this world in a smart way.”

Braun doesn’t think that means simply producing smaller versions of traditional network shows. “The content needs to be in a form that exploits the characteristics (of the Internet),” he said. “You don’t need to get what you can get on your big flatscreen television set.”

It’s typical for network and studio toppers — think Sandy Grushow, Warren Littlefield, Kerry McCluggage — to segue into production deals after leaving top jobs. Braun said that henever gave serious consideration to such a move.

“I wasn’t sure, in the immediate weeks after I left ABC, what I was going to do next, but I was fairly sure I wasn’t interested in producing TV shows,” he said.

Braun is the second former network topper to move to the Net in 2004. In the spring, former NBC entertainment prexy Scott Sassa was named CEO of social networking site Friendster.

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