Yahoo’s latest acquisition is Katie Couric – here’s everything you need to know

everything need know yahoo katie couric deal kc

Yahoo has made some noteworthy acquisitions since bringing CEO Marissa Mayer on board; Qwiki, Summly, and of course, Tumblr. But yesterday the “are we a media or are we a technology company?” further confused us as to the answer of that question by making one of its most notable acquisitions yet: Katie Couric.

Alright, so Yahoo didn’t technically acquire Couric. In reality, the TV news personality as been hired to head up Yahoo News, taking the title of Yahoo Global Anchor. “Starting in 2014, Katie will lead a growing team of correspondents at Yahoo News who will cover the world’s most interesting stories and newsmakers,” Mayer said in an announcement.

The move certainly adds yet more credence to the idea that new media is usurping old media, but beyond that, what are the other important factors? And what, if anything, does it indicate for the state of TV journalism? Let’s review.

Katie will continue.

Though Couric’s face will now pop up every day on the Yahoo homepage, her syndicated daytime talk show Katie isn’t going anywhere. At least, it isn’t yet: The show hasn’t recieved positive ratings, and as of late October was in danger of being cancelled. It’s possible that if Yahoo turns into a better platform for Couric, we’ll see Katie go the way of her short-lived stint anchoring the evening news.

… But she is done with ABC.

Yes, Katie will live to see another day – but Couric’s stint as an ABC News special correspondent is done. Which could make for an awkward day at the office for somebody at some point, because ABC News is one of Yahoo’s news partners. There could, perhaps, be some bleed-over between the two.

This is just the latest big name to join Yahoo.

Couric certainly brings an unprecedented amount of star power to Yahoo, as well as a long line of celebrity contacts who she has access to. Still, she’s not the only one Yahoo has courted and snagged: Esteemed journalists David Pogue, Megan Liberman, David Karp (the Tumblr founder), and Matt Bai have all signed on with Yahoo News. Mayer has also reportedly met with E! ringleader (and adorably elfin-like man) Ryan Seacrest about content creation ideas.

What is a “Global Anchor”?

Don’t spend too much time worrying about this; a “Global Anchor” is a made-up term that basically means Couric will lead the helm of Yahoo’s new team, and that their coverage will be internationally-focused. Also, it’s clear Mayer wanted to use the word “anchor” in Couric’s title so she could make a few bad nautical puns in the Tumblr blog post announcing the deal. 

Another big win for video.

A significant part of this deal is that Couric will host video interviews and live news segments. It’s not as if Internet video content is an innovative new concept, but it’s predicted to be a huge focus in 2014 – especially as it applies to mobile and Web marketing. Having video segments – those featuring the likes of Couric and interviews with her famous friends, no less – is a very appealing feature to show off to interested advertisers. Yahoo is likely already seeing the advertising spots within these videos as a potential goldmine.

Do we finally know what sort of company Yahoo is?

For the past few years, Yahoo has been plagued by trying to define itself. The former Internet 1.0 behemoth has struggled in the age of social networking and user creation and curation, seemingly unable to adjust and evolve ably. So instead, Yahoo sort of tried the old “throw mud at the wall and see what sticks” approach: It made apps, it launched a new email client, dipped into Internet video curation, mulled a corporate takeover. All options were considered. Since bringing on Mayer, it would appear that Yahoo is edging significantly toward being a content producer. Its acquisitions would suggest it wants to attempt to lead the Internet into a new age of media, one that’s been organically happening and that has eluded traditional Web publishers (for the most part).

Of course, just because Yahoo is aggressively trying to become the leader in this new market doesn’t mean it will succeed. These are some very expensive gambles Yahoo and Mayer are taking, and there still remains some confusion as to what exactly Yahoo “does.” But at the same time, a lot of confusion remains for nearly every Web publisher or content platform (look no further than some of the chaos existing between Google’s products and its social network).

At least Yahoo is starting to put its finger on a focus – albeit a very ambitious one.

Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (February 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in January and February, from new original series to classic films.
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.