Like other tech and media, Yahoo and Katie Couric need each other

Katie Couric as the “global anchor” and “face of Yahoo News” — whether it works or not — represents the latest example of Yahoo’s media strategy, which seems to be to generate maximum exposure by filling up on celebrities and big names. It also shows that traditional media and tech companies are increasingly forging symbiotic relationships.

Sure, tensions remain among big media companies and tech. For example, services that offer movie- and television-show viewing — especially the upstarts, such as Aereo and FilmOn X — continue to face resistance and suspicion (and even lawsuits). Netflix, which has been around longer, has seen some makers and distributors of film and TV shows come around and strike deals with  the company. But let’s just say they’re not BFFs. That’s why the Los Gatos entertainment provider has started making its own shows.

Still, some media companies have realized they need Netflix, and Netflix needs them back.

Other examples of tech and media depending on each other:

Media companies have learned to work with or use YouTube to their advantage. Back in the day, the video site was viewed by the entertainment industry mostly as the land of pirated videos and shows.

Media companies compete for the same ad revenue as Facebook and Twitter. But know they need those platforms to help deliver their products, such as news, to a wider audience. Facebook and Twitter, in turn, realize that their users are interested in news. Twitter recently hired Vivian Schiller away from her position as chief digital officer of NBC News; she now heads news and journalism partnerships at the San Francisco social media company.

Yahoo’s moves lately, such as the deal with Couric — whose career could see a boost as the deal gives her even more exposure — and its luring of well-known tech columnist David Pogue away from the New York Times, may be the most ambitious so far of tech’s efforts to embrace traditional media. As we’ve said before, Yahoo lately is answering the longtime question of whether it’s a tech or media company loud and clear: It’s both.


Photo: Katie Couric is joining Yahoo as “global anchor.” (Andy Kropa/Invision/Associated Press)


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