Yahoo! Hires Media Chief

Yahoo named TV veteran and dealmaker Lloyd Braun to head its media and entertainment properties. In the role, he’ll oversee a huge online division that includes movies, TV, music, games, news, finance, sports, health and kids content and businesses.

Braun has produced the top TV programming to come out of the Walt Disney Company in the last several years, most recently as chairman of ABC Entertainment Television.

Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig said Braun’s relationships in the entertainment industry would help Yahoo create new content deals, and his creative experience would improve the quality of the portal’s original programming.

“The combination of Lloyd’s extensive business and deal making experience, deep and long-standing relationships in the entertainment and media industries, and his proven creative instincts make him the ideal person to realize the full potential of Yahoo’s media and entertainment offerings,” said Rosensweig.

Braun, like Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, comes from the traditional media world. He was most recently chairman of ABC Entertainment Television Group, a Disney division, for two years. While there, he led the production of a number of ABC’s biggest shows, including “The Bachelor” and “8 Simple Rules,” as well as Touchstone series such as “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives.”

Before 2002, he oversaw the consolidation of two ABC TV units — Buena Vista Television Productions (BVTP) and ABC’s Primetime Division — into ABC Entertainment Television Group. Earlier, he led BVTP as chairman and headed both Touchstone Television and Walt Disney Network Television divisions. Before joining Disney, he was president of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, which produced “The Sopranos” and “Just Shoot Me.”

Braun’s television experience will boost Yahoo’s broadband offerings, which represent a growing share of both content and advertising. Yahoo’s CEO Semel yesterday discussed Yahoo’s streaming video strategy at the Morgan Stanley Software, Services, Internet & Networking Conference, saying the portal serves approximately 300 million video streams per month.

“[Video] has become a very good advertising platform,” Semel said. “It not only has huge volume, but it has huge opportunities to monetize. We’re going to try to do it [advertising] in a more creative way than making it feel like television.”

Braun will begin his new post on November 15, and will be based in Santa Monica.

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