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Yahoo joins ABC in online news partnership

The Yahoo! offices are pictured in Santa Monica, California April 18, 2011. Yahoo! will report its quarterly results on Tuesday.
The Yahoo! offices are pictured in Santa Monica, California April 18, 2011. Yahoo! will report its quarterly results on Tuesday.

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc struck a deal with ABC to use the media company's news on its website and to jointly produce journalism projects as well as sell Web advertising.

The partnership, announced on Monday, started with the debut of GoodMorningAmerica.com on Yahoo and three video series with ABC News correspondents and anchors that will run online before they run on television.

The alliance comes as Yahoo's board searches for a successor to ousted Chief Executive Carol Bartz and contemplates selling the company, which has been losing market share and prominence as one of the world's top online destinations.

Jack Ma, founder and chief executive of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, said last week he was interested in buying the Internet search and advertising company. Yahoo's 43 percent stake in Alibaba is considered one of its most valuable assets.

"All the other noise and swirl is irrelevant for me and my team," said Ross Levinsohn, executive vice president of Americas at Yahoo, who was on hand at ABC studios on Monday to announce the partnership. "We keep our heads down, we do our jobs day in, day out, and the rest of the stuff takes care of itself."

Walt Disney Co's ABC News still will maintain its own website. ABC and Yahoo first struck a programing deal in 2000.

Yahoo said the partnership with ABC will not affect its deals with other media organizations including the Associated Press and Thomson Reuters.

ABC News and Yahoo's original media staff of about 15 employees plan to work more closely together on projects, and the sales teams of both organizations will jointly sell ads.

Executives declined to elaborate on more financial details.

The first of the new shows is "Newsmakers," an interview series, which begins with a live interview with President Barack Obama by "Good Morning America" anchor George Stephanopoulos.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba and Yinka Adegoke. Editing by Robert MacMillan and John Wallace)

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