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.

Emerging Tech

Behind the unsettling sci-fi landscapes of Simon Stalenhag’s ‘Electric State’

The narrative artbook follows the journey of a young traveler, Michelle, and her robot, Skip, as they head west to the Pacific coast through an alternative America torn apart by civil war and the trappings of military-grade virtual reality.
Emerging Tech

When tech goes wrong: Banksy’s shredder was meant to totally destroy his artwork

Banksy's recent auction stunt was meant to totally destroy one of his most famous pieces of work, but a fault with the shredder has left the buyer with something almost certainly worth far more than the $1 million she bid for it.
Home Theater

What’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in November 2018

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for November 2018, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming…
Movies & TV

Peter Dinklage gets cryptic about two 'Game of Thrones' characters' fates

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.

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Social Media

Like a pocketable personal stylist, Pinterest overhauls shopping tools

Pinterest shopping just got a bit better with a trio of updates now rolling out to Pinterest. The first replaces Buyable Pins with Product Pins for more features, including knowing whether or not a product is in stock.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.
Social Media

Twitter has sorted out those weird notifications it was sending

Twitter started churning out weird notifications of seemingly nonsensical letters and numbers to many of its users on Tuesday morning. The bizarre incident even prompted Twitter boss Jack Dorsey to get involved.

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Home Theater

Facebook might be planning a streaming box for your TV that watches you back

Facebook is reportedly working on a piece of streaming media hardware for your living room with a built-in camera for video calls, something people may not want given the company's recent controversies.

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.
Social Media

Over selfies and an onslaught of ads? Here's how delete your Instagram account

Despite its outstanding popularity and photo-sharing dominance, Instagram isn't for everyone. Thankfully, deleting your account is as easy as logging into the site and clicking a few buttons. Here's what you need to do.