LA Times looks at Yahoo’s Media Group in Santa Monica and their search for DIY video talent.
“The 9,” an online show that features sites and videos from across the Web, has become a quiet hit for Yahoo since it launched in July. As many as 6 million viewers a month watch host Maria Sansone’s rundown of nine wacky sites, then click away to photos of yawning rabbits, YouTube videos of slow-motion face slaps and episodes of Mr. T’s new TV show.
Lloyd Braun, head of Yahoo’s media unit, was so pleased with “The 9″ that he enlisted its creator, longtime TV producer Michael Davies, to start a filmmaking competition to find a Web star with staying power. The winner of the “Yahoo Talent Show,” which will be launched today, will receive $50,000 and land a regular show on Yahoo.
Braun is under pressure to turn the Yahoo Media Group, started in Santa Monica nearly two years ago, into a bigger moneymaker. Last week, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo reported disappointing third-quarter earnings and said the online-advertising market seemed to be softening.