Can a celebrity news team help revive Yahoo?

TV news anchor Katie Couric is the latest high profile journalist to join Yahoo's staff

Katie Couric is Yahoo's global news anchor

Katie Couric is Yahoo's global news anchor

Yahoo has been hiring hotshot journalists to boost its news cred, and Monday's addition of Katie Couric could help with the company's efforts to reinvigorate itself. But it has to get the content just right.

The Internet company confirmed Monday it hired TV news anchor Katie Couric to lead its growing in-house news operation. She follows several other big-name grabs like The New York Times' technology columnist David Pogue and the Times' deputy news editor Megan Liberman.

The moves could give users more reasons to visit the site and help Yahoo sell more ads against its video news reports. But for that to happen, observers said, Yahoo's original news content needs to be just that: original.

To be successful online, you need to supply content that others aren't, said Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism training organization. "Yahoo needs to focus more on insights rather than personality," he said.

In a blog post, Mayer said Couric will lead a team of correspondents who will "cover the world's most interesting stories." But the name Katie Couric isn't synonymous with investigative reporting, according to Tompkins.

"I don't know what she will bring that Yahoo couldn't get somewhere else," he said.

Pogue, on the other hand, brings his own whimsical style to product reviews and technology analysis. He might be better poised to provide Yahoo with a unique voice that will prove popular with users.

Couric's career includes a 15-year run on NBC's The Today Show, but her ability to attract new users to Yahoo, especially the coveted younger crowd, is a big question.

One Twitter user summed up what others may be feeling about the Yahoo-Couric pairing. "I'm not so sure. Feel like they both peaked in the 90s," he wrote.

But if Couric is getting dusty, "maybe that's because television is going down the drain, not because she's lost her journalistic chops," said Karsten Weide, an industry analyst with IDC.

Even if broadcast TV isn't dead, the Internet is becoming a larger part of the mix. TV ratings company Nielsen now includes tweets in its analysis of shows. And Twitter is trying to position itself as a "second screen" to the TV, by encouraging its users to tweet about shows, and serving them targeted ads in response.

With Couric at the helm, Yahoo's expanded journalism operation adds another content stream to an already diversified company that includes search, advertising, email, photo-hosting with Flickr and social networking with Tumblr.

It's good that the company is working harder to provide original news instead of just aggregating what others deliver, analysts said. But original content does not guarantee success online. AOL has been trying it with Patch, which in recent months was hit hard by layoffs.

Yahoo's original news today includes a mix of frivolous and serious topics. Maybe Couric can expand the serious side, because Yahoo can probably manage frivolous on its own: "Dog rescued from 700 foot deep hole in South Africa," read one of the trending headlines Monday.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesYahoosocial mediainternetsearch enginesvideo

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?