Celebrity deaths are big news. But nothing warms a media executive’s heart more than a good celebrity sex scandal.
“God bless Tiger. This week we got a huge uplift.” Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz told a crowd of investors in New York on Tuesday at the UBS Media and Communications Conference.
Bartz noted that the Tiger Woods story has filtered through all of Yahoo’s key online properties, from front page news to websites dedicated to sports and gossip.
Asked if Wood’s recently alleged extracurricular activities would help Yahoo meet its quarterly financial targets, Bartz joked that it absolutely would, and added that the scandal has been better for business than Michael Jackson dying. “It’s kind of hard to put an ad up next to a funeral.”
The golfing phenom came up again later during Bartz’s appearance, in a discussion about charging for online news (as News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch is increasingly interested in doing) or keeping the content freely-available and subsidized by advertisements.
Bartz said that certain publishers may decide to charge for online news, but cautioned that the news “better be very specialized.”
Articles about Tiger Woods will not be able to sit behind a paywall, Bartz said. “There’s too many places that have that.”