Yahoo's SoCal plans take shape

Journalist positions among job postings for newly created Santa Monica outpost hint at company's direction, contrast with Google.

Yahoo's roots are in Silicon Valley, but it is quietly going on a hiring spree in Hollywood to build up its new Media Group.

The search giant largely has been mum about the formation of the group, as first reported by CNET News.com. But in the past two weeks, it has posted job openings in news and information--not just entertainment--including a news editor, news product manager, Yahoo finance content producer and senior sales producer for news and information.

"The desirable candidate has a successful track record of creating quality and innovative advertising programs in a timely manner for Fortune 500 companies interested in reaching their customers through news and youth-related content," said the posting for the senior sales producer. Candidates should have sales experience with a "major news organization."

The news editor "will also have the opportunity to help shape the direction of online journalism by contributing to the overall editorial direction and growth of Yahoo News," the posting said. "As such, general knowledge of the news industry and awareness of emerging online journalism trends (blogs, RSS, interactive storytelling) are also required."

The job postings underscore Yahoo's big bet on media to sell display advertising, while its competitor Google focuses more on using its technology to drive direct response "pay per click" ads.

Further highlighting its focus on content, Yahoo's Media Group will be based in Santa Monica, Calif., not Sunnyvale, no doubt causing some commute headaches.

"This position ultimately will be based in the Yahoo Center in Santa Monica, new home of the Yahoo Media Group," according to the posting for a news product manager. "Until management and editors of the News group moves in May, regular commuting to Yahoo's Sunnyvale campus may be necessary. Afterward, occasional travel to Sunnyvale will be necessary to work with (the) engineer staff."

In November, Yahoo hired former ABC television executive Lloyd Braun to head its media and entertainment division. The same month, the company also hired newspaper veteran Neil Budde, founding editor and publisher of the Wall Street Journal Online edition.

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