Yahoo and ABC partner for news 'alliance'

@CNNMoneyTech October 3, 2011: 10:42 AM ET

CNNMoney (NEW YORK) -- Yahoo and ABC News are teaming up to share news content, reporting resources and original videos.

The "alliance," announced Monday on "Good Morning America" and at a press conference in New York City, is expected to reach 100 million people per month. Both GMA anchors and executives at the events called the deal "game-changing" several times.

Much of the partnership revolves around original video, which has gained popularity in the online news space. The new video series "Newsmakers" will air its first online episode at 2:35 p.m., with ABC correspondent George Stephanopoulos interviewing President Obama. The live video will stream on Yahoo.com and ABCNews.com.

Other online series launching Monday are "Around the World with Christiane Amanpour," global reporter and "This Week" and "This Could Be Big" anchored by Bill Weir. More will roll out in 2012.

Beyond video, the deal also changes how each brand gathers some of its news. Walt Disney (DIS, Fortune 500)-owned ABC News will now be the main news provider on Yahoo News, which is the No. 1 online news site. Conversely, Yahoo editorial staff and content will appear on-air on ABC.

Alibaba 'interested' in buying all of Yahoo

Editorial teams for both companies will work together on big projects and major news events.

Bureaus in New York, D.C. and Los Angeles will include staff from both ABC and Yahoo. Still, the companies said each brand will "maintain editorial control" of their respective sites.

Several ABC News anchors attended the small press conference, and a few talked about the advantages of partnering with Yahoo.

Katie Couric discussed the limitations of short-span TV interviews. "This platform provides us with an incredible opportunity to dig a little deeper. We have the luxury of [more] time online."

The ad sales teams will also join forces to sell online video advertising. ABC will lead sales efforts during the busy "upfront" selling season and Yahoo will manage sales the rest of the year.

At the press conference in Manhattan, Yahoo executive vice president Ross Levinsohn said the partnership "came together very quickly."

"We're really focused on premium content," Levinsohn said. "We believe that the value created around original content can't be replicated."

Last month, all 10 of the top 10 most-watched original online video series were Yahoo's.

A journalist asked Levinsohn whether more Yahoo alliances are to come. He ducked the question, saying, "We're running our business. We keep our heads down [and work], and the rest works itself out."

Levinsohn has been named as a likely contender for the CEO position that's been open since Carol Bartz was unceremoniously fired over the phone last month. Yahoo chief financial officer Tim Morse is acting as interim CEO.

But a reporter asked whether Levinsohn's running the event signaled that he is "taking the helm."

"Excuse me?" Levinsohn said, and then laughed. "I'm sitting here in the best job of my life."

Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) shares rose more than 4% Monday morning. However, the spike likely had more to do with the news that the CEO of Chinese Internet firm Alibaba said late Friday that he was "interested" in buying Yahoo.

Since Bartz was fired, there has been rampant speculation that Yahoo may look to sell itself instead of remaining independent and hiring a new CEO to replace Bartz.  To top of page

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