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Yahoo will shut down podcast service in effort to lift profit

September 28, 2007|From the Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo Inc. will jettison a little-used service for finding and rating audio programs known as podcasts, the latest casualty of the Internet company's rejuvenation effort.

The podcast section will be silenced Oct. 31, according to a notice posted on Yahoo's website said. It joins several other features Yahoo has scrapped as it tries to snap out of a financial funk that has depressed its stock price and triggered a reshuffling of top management.

Yahoo didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the planned closure of the podcast service. The latest retrenchment comes near the end of 100-day a review of Yahoo's operations that cofounder Jerry Yang announced in mid-July, a month after he replaced now-Chairman Terry Semel as the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company's chief executive.

Yahoo is expected to dump more services before the overhaul is completed, with its music subscription service frequently mentioned as one of the most likely targets.

Some shareholders have suggested that the company also could boost profit by closing the Santa Monica offices that serve as the hub of its news and entertainment division.

Yang has revealed little about what else might be cut, saying only that there would be no "sacred cows" as he explores ways to revive Yahoo's earnings growth. The company's profit fell 7% during the first half of this year.

Yahoo launched the podcast service two years ago but it never attracted much interest.

Yahoo shares fell 43 cents to $26.27, down more than 30% from the end of 2005.

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