Walt Disney Co. and Yahoo are joining forces for a daily online short-form series featuring former “Oprah Winfrey Show” correspondent Ali Wentworth.
“Daily Shot with Ali Wentworth” will air every weekday beginning today on key Yahoo destinations and Disney-owned Babble.com, a website heretofore known for blogs about parenting.
Each episode, which will be 3-5 minutes long, will see Wentworth put a comedic spin on news stories that Yahoo’s analytics suggest are trending across its websites and relevant to parents. Wentworth will shoot each “Shot” from her kitchen or wherever she happens to be that day.
“This was appealing to us because of the value-add Ali brings as such a distinctive voice,” said Erin McPherson, VP and head of programming and originals at Yahoo. “She’s a great persona to add to the Yahoo lineup.”
“Shot” will be produced by Disney Interactive Media Group, where Babble is housed as part of the “moms and family” portfolio of websites. Wentworth will also have a Babble blog, Ali in Wonderland, which just happens to be the title of a memoir she penned that she’ll be promoting next month when it’s released.
“Shot” will be a co-branded experience, though the video player will be powered by Yahoo even when viewed on Babble.com. A sponsor has been signed that neither company has disclosed, though the series will launch without it.
“Shot” will run on Yahoo Screen, the company’s new video destination, as well as Yahoo News and portal Shine, which targets female users just as Babble does.
The partnership with Yahoo is somewhat similar to one Disney struck last year with YouTube for a co-branded kids channel. Disney brings its capabilities and cache for premium programming, and in exchange gets linkage to high-traffic Web hubs that could send new users back to the Mouse’s own properties.
“Shot” isn’t the first collaboration between Yahoo and Disney. Last year, Yahoo and ABC News expanded a decade-long partnership that brought greater sharing of content including a customized online version of “Good Morning America.” Coincidentally, “GMA” anchor George Stephanopoulos is married to Wentworth — a synergy of sorts McPherson said Yahoo could capitalize on by juxtaposing their respective content.
In addition to “Oprah,” Wentworth has made a name for herself through projects including as star and creator of “Head Case,” one of the first scripted series to run on Starz, and roles in films including “It’s Complicated.”
Wentworth is the latest high-profile name Yahoo has coming to its video offerings, where the company has sought to raise its game in an effort to lure more advertising dollars. Tom Hanks, Bill Maher and Morgan Spurlock are among the known quantities that Yahoo has brought to its programming slate.
Disney acquired Babble last November. Wentworth will be the first of a slate of video series that will be layered across the site, with future programming likely to draw from the roster of popular bloggers the website counts as its own.
“The way we think about Babble, ‘bloggers’ is too narrow a term,” said Brooke Chaffin, senior VP of the moms and family unit within Disney Internet Media Group. “We should bring as many forums as possible for our storytellers to tell their stories.”
The addition of a topical draw to Babble is also part of a larger reorganization spearheaded by Chaffin of the Disney moms and family division, which is largely comprised of websites filled with evergreen content that will look to Babble to drive greater daily circulation.
Chaffin was brought to Disney last year by DIMG co-president James Pitaro, both of whom previously worked at Yahoo.