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Shifting sands at Yahoo Media

Netco spent $100 million on a 10-year lease

In 2005, when Yahoo started moving hundreds of employees from its Silicon Valley HQ to the new “Yahoo Center” in Santa Monica, it looked like the complex would be a second seat of power for the world’s biggest online media company.

Netco spent $100 million on a 10-year lease so former ABC prexy Lloyd Braun could build theYahoo Media Group, which many expected to become a powerhouse.

But last week, after a massive reorg that resulted in Braun’s exit, Yahoo Center lost a bit of its luster.

YMG is now but a division of the Yahoo Network, which is itself a division of the Yahoo Audience Group, one of three units CEO Terry Semel has split Yahoo into in a bid to better compete with the likes of Google and MySpace.

For now, the execs in Santa Monica will report to Jeff Weiner, the new head of Yahoo Network, who works … in Sunnyvale.