Sources tell Swisher that Mayer's newfound focus is on ramping up Yahoo's media efforts, with one familiar anchor in mind:
[Mayer has been]. . . personally shepherding a new deal to put a Web interview show by high-profile television news personality Katie Couric right on its home page.
For the first time in years, Yahoo's web traffic surpassed Google's, according to a comScore report for July (not including the Tumblr acquisition). But Mayer isn't taking any chances, especially when the company still doesn't know how to monetize its traffic.
She has also been personally involved in meetings with Conde Nast executives:
. . . for very preliminary talks, and has expressed interest in cooking up some kind of content deal with its flagship Vogue magazine.
(The same magazine recently found a reason to feature the perennial profile subject for a second time in four years.)
The negotiations with Couric "have recently moved to include top execs at ABC, which has a robust news partnership with Yahoo," says Swisher:
Couric has done previous appearances for Yahoo, including one event for advertisers, and there is already an offering called “Katie’s Take” on Yahoo News, launched about a year ago. But it is basically repurposed content from her ABC daytime talk show, “Katie,” and written by others, recently including a riveting video about “Orgasm After Menopause.”
The new deal, if struck, would be much more substantive, and presumably would seek to deliver the content in more interesting ways. Sources said it would center on exclusive interviews with a range of high-profile celebrities, business execs and more, done by Couric specifically for the Web and prominently featured on the Yahoo homepage.
Not sure how much more interesting an "Orgasm After Menopause" segment can get, but god speed.
AllThingsD says Couric deal would be part of Mayer's plan to create a YouTube competitor, especially considering "video ads are a big area of revenue growth online as traditional graphical ads fade."
If all else fails, perhaps Mayer can host the show herself considering that she formulated Yahoo's "highly entertaining" second quarter earnings report to look like a news broadcast. Lean in to the camera.
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