So, Peter Chernin's name keeps coming up as a potential replacement for Jerry Yang as CEO of Yahoo.
Chernin's the always-cool president of News Corp. Under Rupert Murdoch and Chernin, the old-line publisher and broadcaster has shown serious savvy about new media. People thought the company overpaid for MySpace back in 2005, and now clearly has multiplied that value several times. More than 160 million people in the U.S. visit the Yahoo "network" of sites in a month -- but MySpace.com alone gets 75.5 million, according to comScore.
Chernin also got News together with NBC Universal to launch the first really serious and highly usable online outlet for high-quality video. Google bought the amateur video-sharing site, YouTube, and is still trying to figure out how to develop a strong ad revenue stream. Hulu thought about advertising first, before taking off. And guess what it figured out: Just put three minutes of commercials in a TV show. Viewers will remember them better -- and advertisers will be happier, as a result.
But he's no shoo-in. Current Yahoo chief Susan Decker and former Yahoo chief Dan Rosensweig have to be considered, thinks Kara Swisher of AllThingsD. In fact, she has a very long list of candidates that includes Tim Armstrong of Google and Meg Whitman, formerly of the John McCain campaign. And, oh, yeah, eBay.
Serial Net entrepreneur Marc Andreessen of Netscape, Opsware and Ning earns a mention in Tne New York Times. And former Microsoft exec Kevin Johnson gets a nod from the Associated Press. Maybe Steve Ballmer counts his blessings: A lower stock price and an easier negotiating party at Yahoo, at the same time.
Maybe what Yahoo really needs, though, is a wholly original thinker to jumpstart its prospects. Someone who has previously shown his ability to think far ahead (what video could be online) of its executives. And how to make the most use of Yahoo shares, when they are worth something.
That would be Mark Cuban, who sold out to Yahoo in 1999 for $5.9 billion -- just before the last big downturn, aka the dotcom bust. Sure, he's having a little trouble with the SEC right now. but he'll get past it.
What do you think of the candidates to replace Yang?
Vote here. Or throw up the name of who you would really like to see take charge (and why), in TalkBack.