Yahoo Makes Big Bet on Katie Couric

Marissa Mayer is making a big bet on video. In luring Katie Couric from broadcast to tech, the Yahoo CEO is underscoring that a heavy emphasis on content in general and video in particular will be a key part of her strategy to turn around the aging Web portal.

[Couric, long a major star in television news, will leave ABC and soon sign on as Yahoo's "global news anchor." Couric is expected to conduct interviews with major players on the Yahoo homepage.]

For Couric, former co-anchor of NBC's Today show and the first female anchor of the CBS Evening News, it's an exciting opportunity to reinvent herself in a new medium. Her profile in recent years has been decidedly lower as the host of the syndicated show Katie and as a little-used ABC News special correspondent.

For Mayer, this is another bold move in her effort to breathe new life into the once-moribund Silicon Valley icon.

To be sure, the firm has made great progress since Mayer left Google to take the helm at Yahoo on July 17, 2012. By sheer force of personality and will, the high-profile executive has radically changed the image of the company, very much for the better. Yahoo is cool again, or getting there.

She attracted attention by posing for a glam fashion spread for Vogue and engaging the public in revamping the company's logo. She made some big-ticket acquisitions, including the hot blog platform Tumblr. She upgraded the apps.

And Yahoo's stock has soared. It sold at $15.65 the day before she arrived. It closed Friday at $36.49, a jump of 133% vs. the S&P 500's 33% rise. Not too shabby.

Of course, Mayer had some help from her friends. Much of the company's success on The Street has been due to its stake in Alibaba, a well-regarded Chinese e-commerce firm...

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