Yahoo! Hires Business Chief for Media Group

Yahoo has lured aboard longtime Fox Broadcasting executive Ira Kurgan to head all business operations within the portal’s media group. As chief business officer, he’ll oversee deal making, partnerships and strategic alliances for Yahoo’s content channels, most of which are supported by advertising revenue.

Kurgan, who will report to media group head Lloyd Braun, is currently president of network business operations at Fox, having been with the network for 17 years. He’ll transition to Yahoo over the next several months, a portal spokesperson said.

Kurgan’s joining Yahoo adds to the portal’s arsenal of traditional media heavy hitters. Braun hails from ABC Entertainment Television, and CEO Terry Semel was co-chairman of Time Warner’s movie and music division before he joined Yahoo in 2001.

“Securing a talent like Ira was a critical priority for us,” said Braun. “There is no better deal maker, and he is widely respected as having one of the most fertile business minds in the media industry.”

Kurgan said he’s pleased to join a company with “huge growth potential,” adding he looks forward to employing his deal making experience to determine new economic models and deal structures for online content.

Before working at Fox, Kurgan was employed as director of business affairs at CBS Broadcasting. He’s also worked at United Artists Pictures and at several law firms.

Last month, the company bolstered the content side of its media group by hiring Scott Moore, MSN’s general manager of programming, to be VP of content operations.

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