Yahoo’s ‘Eyewitness News’ report with Marissa and Ken

It looked a lot like your local 5 o’clock newscast, with veteran anchors Marissa Mayer and Ken Goldman.  Mayer gave the day’s top story, while Goldman ran down the sports, weather and traffic numbers.

Well, not really on the sports and weather.  But in an unusual experiment at live-streaming the company’s financial report, CFO Goldman gamely rattled off the numbers for Yahoo’s second-quarter results, after CEO Mayer led off with an overview of what she described as the re-energized Yahoo’s progress toward a turnaround, despite a continuing slide in ad sales.

Mayer delivered an upbeat presentation, smiling and gesturing occasionally.  Goldman was a little more wooden.  Both remembered to look straight into the camera – most of the time, anyway – except when the picture was replaced with some pre-taped video of new Yahoo products, or the occasional chart showing the company’s progress.  (Yahoo declined to provide specific details from the chart that Mayer used to depict what she said is an uptick in visitor traffic; a spokeswoman said the numbers are confidential.)

Somewhat surprisingly, for executives at an Internet company, both had an array of papers spread in front of them — no prominently positioned laptop computer for these two.  There was also a giant Yahoo coffee mug in the foreground, although no one seemed to be actually sipping from it.

But whether it was the content of the presentation, or the format, something seemed to work.  Yahoo’s stock had dropped 1.7 percent on Tuesday, before the earnings report came out.  It continued to fall in the first hour after the company released its written report.  But the stock regained about half of that as the live-stream went on.

More film at 11?






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