Articles of the Day


Yahoo Reups Verizon Portal Deal; Change in Rev Share Terms — There was a time in 2005 and 2000 where Yahoo was signing up various broadband providers to make itself the default portals for the Internet access subscribers: Verizon, SBC (now AT&T) and Bellsouth, among others. Not much was heard on these deals since 2006 (barring that AT&T deal restructuring early this year), but now Yahoo has re-upped its deal with Verizon, along the same lines as before: users will be able to select a start page of a cobranded Verizon-Yahoo with Yahoo services, of course. Users can also choose to use services from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) or AOL (NYSE: TWX), but Yahoo will be the first option on the list under the new agreement, reports WSJ. Verizon said Yahoo earned the top position, previously held by Microsoft, based on the revenue it generated and shared with Verizon.

Sun May Set Soon On New York Sun If It Doesn’t Find New Funding — New York Sun, the small-but-influential NY area newspaper which launched among much hype in 2002, may be forced to close after this month if it does not find new investors. According to NYP, the paper is losing money at the rate of $1 million a month for total losses surpassing $70 million. The paper was backed by deep-pocketed investors to being with, including Roger Hertog, the former vice chairman of AllianceBernstein, and became known for its coverage of New York City government and the arts and for its conservative political bent, reports WSJ. As of 2007 the paper claims a readership of 150K, supposedly among a slice of “New York elite.”

Liberty Media Details Plans To Split-Off Liberty Entertainment — Liberty Media’s board has approved a plan to fully split Liberty Entertainment, currently a tracking stock, off into a separate public company. After the split, Liberty Entertainment would still retain the name. If the plan goes through, the new Liberty Entertainment would be made up of roughly 50 percent of The DirecTV Group (NYSE: DTV), and all holdings belonging Starz Entertainment, FUN Technologies, and Liberty Sports Holdings. It would also include 50 percent of GSN and 37 percent of WildBlue Communications. Liberty Entertainment would also assume the $2 billion in debt that was incurred to acquire 78.3 million DirecTV shares in April 2008. The parent company said it expected the executive officers of Liberty Media to also hold those positions at Liberty Entertainment, which also means media mogul John Malone.

Microsoft and Others To Take Stake in Japanese Broadcaster NHK; Streaming Online As Well — Microsoft, NTT and Itochu Corp, together with 10 other companies are taking a stake in Japan’s first 24-hour English-language broadcasting service, which local public broadcaster NHK which is due to launch in February, reports Nikkei, citing sources and picked up by Thomson Financial. NHK will issue about $1.8 million in new shares through private placements with these 13 investors, the paper said. Once the new shares are issued, NHK’s interest in the unit will drop to around 60 percent, and each of the 13 companies will have stakes of less than 5 percent each. Both MSFT and NTT, which have expertise in digital media, plan to which broadcast the network online as well. This is the first such channel in Japan, and expects to reach 110 million households in North America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and other areas of the world.

CNBC-LinkedIn Link Up On Content, Networking — Another media partnership for LinkedIn, which is striving to be more than a place to check contacts. This time it’s CNBC and the business social net in a “significant strategic alliance” that may actually live up to the billing if executed as described: CNBC becomes LinkedIn’s preferred business media provider with text, articles and blogs, financial data, and video content. LinkedIn networking and functionality will be integrated into CNBC.com while LinkedIn content will be used on CNBC the network. Less clear is what the two have to gain financially beyond exposure to each other’s domestic and international audiences: VC-backed LinkedIn has 27-plus million registered users; CNBC hovers around 250,000-265,000 U.S. viewers for total business day viewers but its actual reach is hard to measure because so much of the viewing is out of home.

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