Yahoo! Hires Former WB Exec

Web portal Yahoo has hired James Moloshok to take over the post of senior vice president of its Media & Information division, filling a vacancy left by David Graves.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based portal said Moloshok, a former marketing executive at Warner Bros., would oversee Yahoo’s entertainment, media and finance properties. That includes Yahoo’s hot Music and Movies verticals, both of which have been fundamental in the company’s recent efforts to woo entertainment industry advertisers.

Moloshok essentially will be taking the place of Graves, who had been former senior vice president at the portal’s media, finance and leisure division, and who resigned in December amid a company-wide restructuring.

Moloshok will be based in the firm’s new Santa Monica office — which it opened earlier this year to better reach Hollywood clients — and will report to Greg Coleman, executive vice president of North American operations.

With the appointment, Yahoo brings another seasoned studio executive into its upper ranks. The bulk of Moloshok’s career had been spent at Warner Bros., where current Yahoo chief executive Terry Semel (then co-CEO) helped engineer the studio’s spectacular turnaround.

After joining Warner Bros. in 1989 (when it acquired Lorimar Telepictures), Moloshok oversaw corporate marketing and advertising, promoting such hits as “Friends,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “ER,” and “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.”

In 1995, Moloshok helped to launch the company’s online strategies, co-founding and serving as president of Warner Bros. Online, which administered Internet presences for all of the studio’s movies, television and retail brands. Most recently, Moloshok served as president and chief executive of Warner Bros.’ original content site, Entertaindom.com.

At Lorimar Telepictures, Moloshok had been senior vice president of marketing and advertising, a position he attained when Lorimar merged with Telepictures (where he had overseen creative services in advertising for the past five years) in 1986. Before that, he had held positions on various syndicated TV shows at Group W Productions, now part of Viacom .

Ties between Moloshok and Semel are tight. In addition to reporting to Semel for much of his tenure at Warner Bros., Moloshok also served as managing director at Semel’s Internet investment firm, Windsor Digital, shortly after his departure from Entertaindom.com in 2000.

Since October, Moloshok had been working for Yahoo in a consulting capacity, in which Coleman said he had proven “instrumental in building deeper relationships with major film and broadcast studios, leading to our recent agreements with Fox Filmed Entertainment and Artisan Entertainment.”

Now, Moloshok will be charged with continuing to encourage new entertainment advertisers, as well as to beef up demand for Yahoo’s paid services and its ISP venture with SBC .

“We’re pleased to welcome Jim to the Yahoo senior management team,” Coleman said. “A seasoned marketing veteran with strong business acumen, Jim is highly regarded as an executive with great skill and experience in content programming and the Internet … Yahoo will benefit greatly from his strong creative talents, ability to forge alliances and marketing expertise.”

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