Levinsohn Departs Yahoo; Time CEO Lang On Digital Plans

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Levinsohn Leaves Yahoo

Former interim CEO and head of North American sales at Yahoo, Ross Levinsohn, who originally joined the company after working on his own startup, 5:1, has formally left Yahoo! according to a statement obtained by AllThingsD which quotes Levinsohn, "It has been an incredible journey for me and I could not be prouder of what we accomplished over the past few years helping define Yahoo as a leader in digital media and advertising." Read more. The AdExchanger "swami" will guess he winds up in a top role at another big media company as he burnished his media maven rep while at Yahoo. The Business Insider says sales exec Marc Grabowski (LinkedIn) has left, too. Ad Age ruminates on who may leave next at Yahoo! including CRO Michael Barrett, sales exec Jim Heckman, audience ad exec Peter Foster, and others.

Time Digital Media

Time Inc CEO Laura Lang wants her publishing company to get even more audience focused when it comes to its digital pursuits according to a feature article in The New York Times. The NYT's Amy Chozick writs, "Ms. Lang talks about Time Inc. not as a magazine publisher, but as a branded news and entertainment company. She believes she can sell digital products to advertisers tailored to a level of specificity not previously available. Marketers hoping to reach new mothers, for instance, can incorporate messaging into an issue of People magazine (and its various app and online editions) with Jessica Simpson's baby photos or Sandra Bullock's announcement that she has adopted a child." Read more.

Blodget Growing

The WSJ's Keach Hagey cites an unnamed source who says that Henry Blodget's Business Insider is projected to bring in $12 million in revenue this year. Blodget claims the company made $4.8 million in revenue two years ago, but is undecided about whether more growth can be driven with another round of financing. "It will be a question of how aggressive we want to be in terms of growth," Mr. Blodget said. "I think there's a huge opportunity, but you are always weighing whether it is time to turn permanently profitable and drive profits out of the business, or continue to raise capital." Read more.

Sugar's Many Uses

More publishing news! Entertainment and lifestyle blog network Sugar is looking beyond advertising to drive revenue with a QVC-like shopping channel, the company's CEO BrianSugar tells Digiday's Josh Sternberg. Read it. "We have a pretty vibrant revenue stream from the display advertising and sponsorships that we do," said Sugar CEO Brian Sugar. "But we think we can further the revenue we make with the variety of different activities that we do."

Raining Social APIs

Last week saw a small flurry of Ads API vendors (Nanigans, Buddy Media, Compass Labs) catch up with the latest changes to the Facebook platform. Now Blinq Media gets with the program, adding mobile and premium plus a few other bells and whistles of its own devising. (press release) TechCrunch's Josh Constine tracks the various upgrades sprouting in the social API jungle. He says about Blinq, "It has taken much less funding than other companies in the space, so it could be an easy acquisition for a social marketing company such as Wildfire that currently partners to offer Ads API access, or lacks ad buying power entirely." Read the post.

Automating Creative

MIT Technology Review's Christopher Steiner finds that algos are good at evaluaton and a bit more. "Algorithms won't only do work that requires a critical eye. They also will create. Narrative Science, a company in Evanston, Illinois, whose founders include journalism and computer science professors from Northwestern University, has built a set of algorithms that take box scores and produce well-styled and grammatically correct sports reports." Read more. Before long, could HuffPo and Demand Media become the traditional way of publishing?

The VC Implosion

Who's funding all those tech companies? Not your usual venture capital firm says Charlie O'Donnell (also a VC) who questions what today's venture capitalist is really good for. He sees the splintering of the "industry" across different flavors of incubators and accelerators. O'Donnell says, "Call me old fashioned, but what happened to the days where the criteria for being a full time investor at a venture firm meant having an expertise in the functional areas of a company--some product, maybe some tech, PR, marketing, etc.?" Read more.

Mobile Display

Targeting improved creative, the IAB has made the specs available for the industry's org's new mobile ad formats known formally as Rising Stars - comments are invited through 8/16. With names like the Pull, Adhesion Banner and the Full Page Flex - creativity would seem to be already embedded. See them on the IAB's Rising Stars mobile page. And, read the release. Finally, get the specs (PDF). It would seem that from an analytics and ad effectiveness perspective, there are many data points to collect and understand.

Outdoor Display

WPP's Kinetic, which says it's the world's largest planner and buyer of OOH media, has spearheaded the development of a new UK Digital Out of Home (DOOH) Handbook along with DOOH creative company Grand Visual. Digital 96 sheet, Digital Posters, double-side premium digital screens - display is not just on your PC or smartphone. Read the WPP release. And, get the handbook. Connecting DOOH/in-store to online media draws near...

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