Katie Couric to leave ABC News for Yahoo!

Jeremy Hintz

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has been hiring and acquiring at a dizzying rate. That trend continued this week when Mayer announced in a Tumblr post Monday that Katie Couric would join the company as Global Anchor.

Under Mayer, Yahoo! has made several key acquisitions and takeovers. The former “Googirl,” a title Mayer earned as Google’s first female engineer, has made a point to woo media-based assets Yahoo! hopes will bring more people to its already popular homepage. 

One of the first of these large acquisitions was the blog site Tumblr, which was purchased for $1.1 billion back in May. Mayer has frequently hit the recruiting trail herself in an attempt to bring high-profile talent to the once-giant and now-resurgent Yahoo!. Last month, David Pogue, long-time tech columnist for the New York Times, announced he would be leaving his job at the paper to work with Yahoo! on a new consumer-tech website.

Since Google purchased YouTube back in 2006, tech giants have been looking to expand their proprietary media outlets, which can bring in a lot of money in the form of advertising revenue. They have brought in so much ad revenue that online media companies such as Netflix and Amazon are even producing their own content, with the most prominent example being Netflix’s popular original series “House of Cards.” But Silicon Valley is coming up with plenty of ways to tie itself closer to Hollywood, such as Google’s YouTube Awards earlier this year.

Media and news are heavily influenced by the growing tech scene. Print media’s struggles are no secret, as more and more readers look to online sources for both their news and entertainment, but there are people in the tech community who do not see print as being entirely dead. In September, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post for $250 million. 

The paradigm shift is clear, and the scenarios seem almost absurd. Katie Couric, one of the world’s most popular and accomplished news personalities, is leaving her television spot to be featured on a website’s homepage. Tumblr, a site whose revenue up to this point is next to nothing, was sold for around four times as much as the Washington Post, a prominent figure in American journalism since 1877. While it is unclear what exactly Mayer’s or Bezos’ visions might be for their respective purchases, it will almost certainly mean more media and more advertising revenue.