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Yahoo Signs With Silverman

11:00 AM -- Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) has signed a premium content deal with controversial ex-NBC entertainment head Ben Silverman.

Silverman's new IAC startup, Electus, will provide original video content for the site, BoomTown's Kara Swisher reports. Yahoo will sell branded advertisement for the programming.

Joanne Bradford, Yahoo's SVP of North American revenue, told Swisher that advertisers have been looking for opportunities like this.

"It is an area of great interest," Bradford said. "And Yahoo, with its huge traffic, is a leader in selling premium ads on the Web."

CEO Carol Bartz said in December that video is a "hot seller" for Yahoo, which has the second-highest number of unique viewers for video in the U.S., after YouTube.

Silverman, who departed NBC last year amidst negative publicity and falling ratings, has expressed an interest in making "online programming in episodic style," but this type of content has yet to truly take off, Swisher says.

In other news:

  • In other Yahoo news, Bartz told Bloomberg she gives herself a "B-" for her first year on the job, explaining that she should have moved more quickly to reorganize the company and put together the search deal with Microsoft. "It was a little tougher internally than I think I had anticipated," Bartz said. "I did move fast, but this is a big job."

  • Meanwhile, late night at NBC is undergoing a big shakeup, as execs try to sort out what to do with Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. Last night, gossip site TMZ began reporting that Leno would be moved from his current spot at 10 p.m. back to his original place at 11:35. This morning, reports have suggested O'Brien is being offered offered a spot at 12:05 p.m.

    — Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Cable Digital News

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