MSFT’s Mehdi Upped To Lead Much Of Online Services—But Not As President — Microsoft vet Yusuf Mehdi will now lead much of the company’s online services, including marketing, business development, product management for MSN, and search, according to Kara at AllThingsD. However, CEO Steve Ballmer has yet to appoint an overall replacement for Kevin Johnson, who left his post as president of the platform and service division in July. We suggested earlier this month that Mehdi and Brian McAndrews, SVP-advertiser and publisher solutions, were the most likely contenders to fill Johnson’s shoes. Mehdi, along with McAndrews and Satya Nadella, SVP-search, portal & advertising, are now heading up different aspects of advertising in the company. Formerly SVP-strategic partnerships, he’ll now be responsible for part of the portfolio of SVP Bill Veghte, who will focus on leading Windows and Windows Live.
Yahoo Reorgs Connected Life Division; Next Phase Focused On Making Money On Mobile — Yahoo is reorganizing the Connected Life division with the intention of actually making money. The reorganization, announced internally today at an all-hands meeting, includes a management shuffle and the new goal of contributing to Yahoo’s bottom line by 2009, according to an email we obtained. The email was sent out today to employees by Marco Boerries, Yahoo’s EVP of the Connected Life Division, who also made the announcement at a meeting this morning.
Interview: MediaNews’ Singleton On What’s Ailing Newspapers: It’s The Economy, Not The Internet — It’s been a rough few years for the newspaper business. With the migration of readers and advertisers from print to online, and then the past year’s economic downturn and market meltdown this month, it’s hard to figure out where the fixes are going to come from. William Dean Singleton, CEO of Denver-based publisher MediaNews Group, believes he can address the challenge presented by online media to newspapers by tying print and interactive ad sales more closely together and by relying on cooperative services from Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), the AP and real estate ad net Zillow. But the economy, that’s a whole other problem. I spoke with Singleton following Yahoo’s heralding of its APT display ad sales delivery and targeting system last week. During the Yahoo press conference, Singleton said he expects up to 22 percent of the privately-held company’s revenue this year will come from online newspapers, with that number reaching 50 percent in five years. Rather than looking too far ahead though, our conversation focused on the here and now.
AP Signs Up 500 Papers For Online News Sharing Service — While the Associated Press has been trying to beat back threats to defect by member newspapers over the fee structure being implemented next year, a sizable number are still interested in sticking around to take advantage of its growing web tools. The wire service company says that 500 newspapers have signed up for AP Member Marketplace, the online system that lets its subscribers exchange stories, photos and graphics. The service, which was unveiled back in April, is set to get some enhancements this week. In Ohio, 53 papers have asked for access so far, with 45 in Pennsylvania and 26 in Texas are among the 20 states where 10 or more member newspapers have signed up.
AOL Brings Back Digital City As (Yet Another) Blog — In keeping with AOL’s blog-a-week rollout that it’s been doing for the past year to revamp its portal site, the Time Warner company is looking back to its Digital City brand. The site used to resemble *IAC’s* CitySearch network, but Digital City’s new incarnation is more of a general interest blog, with the entertainment, food and nightlife topics underpinning its posts. Perhaps trying too hard to depart from the old Digital City, the site’s postings represent a farrago of topics: a paean to gourmet grill cheese is sandwiched between a post on the upcoming vice presidential candidates’ debate and a post critiquing media coverage of John McCain’s closeness to the gambling business. The general nature of the site makes it more curious as to why AOL needs another site like this, especially when its been sharpening its offerings with sites like the new female focused Lemondrop and the older male counterpart Asylum. Either way, it represents more space to sell ads in struggling display market. Like the other sites, the revamped Digital City’s ads will be handled by Platform-A, AOL’s online ad group.
Broadband ISPs Vow Ad-Targeting To Be ‘Opt-In’ In Congressional Hearing — Although they don’t currently target ads to their broadband subscribers, representatives from AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon Communications appeared before a Senate committee and promised to adopt a system that would seek customers permission first before serving behavioral ads, ClickZ reported. In a period of increased scrutiny on behavioral targeting, cable companies and telcos are still holding out hope that they can convince lawmakers to allow the industry to self-regulate. Both houses of Congress have been looking into online ad targeting since the summer, when Charter Communications executives were summoned to Capitol Hill to outline a planned test of behavioral ad provider Nebuad’s system.