Yahoo, ABC Team on News

Yahoo, looking to fight its way back to being an A-list online player, announced today that it is teaming up with ABC News.

The new alliance will make ABC News the main news provider on Yahoo News, providing interviews, stories and videos to Yahoo News' more than 100 million users. While ABCnews.com will remain an online news site, stories from ABC will also appear on the Yahoo News site.

"At Yahoo , our mission is pretty simple -- to be the premier online media company in the world," said Ross Levinsohn, executive vice president of Americas at Yahoo . "Over 125 million people go to Yahoo News and with the incredible talent at ABC, we think we can revolutionize the online news landscape."

The alliance is scheduled to get off to an officious start today with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos set to sit down with President Barack Obama -- an interview that will air on ABC News as well as on Yahoo.

Ben Sherwood, president of ABC News, said his group already supplies 20 percent to 25 percent of the video news streams on Yahoo. This new alliance is meant to expand on their partnership.

"This is not just another content licensing relationship," Sherwood said. "We want to do something transformative, namely change the way people get their news online and who they get it from -- the ABC news anchors."

Yahoo once was an online pioneer, a top-tier player in the days of the dot-com boom. However, the company has slipped in the face of competition from Google and Facebook. Recently, Yahoo teamed with Facebook to enable news-sharing by users.

Yahoo has also seen its share of turmoil lately.

Early in September, Yahoo's CEO Carol Bartz , who had been with the company for slightly less than three years, was pushed out. A search is on to find a new leader for the company.

Analysts have been saying for some time that Yahoo needs to make significant changes if it wants to reclaim its once lofty spot in the industry.

"Yahoo is still a player, albeit past its peak," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "It's focusing on keeping its membership by enhancing its user experience. With more and richer content ... and, if it abandons the mirage of growing like a tech start-up, Yahoo can run efficiently and profitably."

As part of the new alliance, ABC's Good Morning America will spin off a co-branded online destination -- GMA.yahoo.com. The site will focus on video news clips and continuing coverage of news pieces that were aired on the morning show.

Calling on ABC's slate of well-known reporters and anchors, including Christiane Amanpour and Katie Couric, Yahoo and ABC are expected to launch original online video programming.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com .

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