Yahoo, ABC News Announce Partnership

Monday, ABC News and Yahoo announced a new partnership. Yahoo wants ABC News to bring more content to its site, and ABC News is interested in Yahoo's big audience.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

GUY RAZ, host: And I'm Guy Raz. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.

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RAZ: The latest marriage of big technology and big media was announced this morning in Times Square, before a crowd of cheering tourists.

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ROBIN ROBERTS: And you can see, we are not the only ones excited about this partnership. Our crowd is...

RAZ: "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts announcing a deal that will bring ABC News content to Yahoo.

But as NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, those excited bystanders don't reflect harsher realities facing one of the country's best-known news brands, and the world's most visited website.

NEDA ULABY: When ABC people talk about this deal in public, they repeat two phrases like a mantra: 100 million and game changer.

BEN SHERWOOD: This is a game changer for ABC News.

ULABY: That's the network's news president, Ben Sherwood.

SHERWOOD: Yahoo is a colossus online. It gets 100 million unique users in news. It has around 700 million users worldwide.

ULABY: And in return for the sheer size of that funnel, Yahoo, a terrific news aggregator, gets unique content from a celebrated news team, says Rafat Ali. He started the website paidContent. But this is not the first time Yahoo has partnered with network news. It's not even the first time it's partnered with ABC.

RAFAT ALI: I guess it's a case of heard it all, seen it all before.

ULABY: Rafat says historically, it's been hard to combine a techie Silicon Valley mentality with East Coast-centric media culture. If you go to "Good Morning America's" website right now, you're redirected to gma.yahoo.com. Ali says he's willing to go on the record...

ALI: On the record, guaranteed within three years...

ULABY: It will go back to being just gma.com.

ALI: I mean, I can give you 500 examples of this, including CNBC used to be cnbc.yahoo.finance.yahoo.com - something like that.

ULABY: The problems of ABC News include a weak online presence, the lack of a cable partner like MSNBC, and leadership in constant flux, says Rafat Ali. Still, he sees a little more digital mojo in its splashy first project with Yahoo News - today's George Stephanopoulos interview with President Obama.

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GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Can you put a stop to that?

President BARACK OBAMA: Well, what we did was, we put a stop through...

ULABY: It may take more for Yahoo to regain the traffic it's lost to Gmail and Facebook.

Twenty-nine-year-old Melissa Dilow(ph) ditched her Yahoo account for Gmail. So would she, let's say, go back to Yahoo to watch ABC News videos?

MELISSA DILOW: No, I get my news on my apps on my iPad. I would have no use for that, personally.

ULABY: Yahoo stock ticked up about 6 percent after today's announcement. But investors attribute that to a separate statement from a Chinese investor who says he's interested in buying the website.

Neda Ulaby, NPR News.

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