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9/26/2005
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Yahoo Launches Exclusive Financial Content

But Yahoo says it's not going into competition with its partners.

Yahoo Inc. on Monday launched a series of exclusive financial columns from authors, economists and financial advisers, as the entertainment portal expanded use of its own content.

However, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company said it was not moving in the direction of a news-gathering organization, nor did it plan to compete with content partners, which provide the portal with the majority of its news, finance and entertainment news, Chris Jones, director of programming from Yahoo said.

The nine writers announced Monday, including such respected names in the business press as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and Ben Stein, were hired as freelance writers and did not write for Yahoo's news partners.

The columnist were hired to cover a wide spectrum of topics, from retirement issues to topics that would appeal to a younger demographic, Jones said.

On Sunday, Yahoo began airing exclusive news content from veteran war correspondent Kevin Sites. The multimedia reports are from conflict areas Sites will be visiting around the globe. His first report came from Mogadishu, Somalia, where a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter was downed in 1993. The dispatch was Yahoo's first native news content.

The portal's move into original content puzzled at least one analyst, who said Yahoo did not seem to have a need to spend additional money on branded content, since the company was doing well financially and in driving traffic with partner-generated content.

"They've proven that they're very good at holding on to an audience, even though they outsource content creation," David Card, analyst for JupiterResearch said.

Nevertheless, it was difficult to measure from the outside whether they're own branded content would generate more traffic, and therefore increase advertising revenue.

"It's hard to measure the affect," Card said.

Other financial writers contributing to Yahoo include authors David Bach, Daniel Pink and Charles Wheelan; Ken Dychtwald, an expert on retirement issues; Laura Rowley, a personal finance expert; and Jeremy Siegel, the Robert E. Palmer Professor of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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