Yahoo! and ABC News announced Monday that they will join forces on a news alliance to deliver content to more than 100 million U.S. users each month. The deal increases the reach of Yahoo! News, which already reaches more unique users than any other news site.
The two organizations began the partnership by soliciting questions on Yahoo! for an interview with President Obama on Monday by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. It will air live this afternoon on ABC News and Yahoo! News.
Editorial teams from both organizations will collaborate on coverage to appear on both the Yahoo! News and ABC News sites. The collaboration includes GoodMorningAmerica.com launching on Yahoo!, along with three new online-first video series hosted by the anchors of ABC News. The organizations' combined traffic will give them 25 million more uniques than their closest rival, CNN.com.
"This relationship will give ABC News an unrivaled ability to reach across the Web, combining Yahoo!'s vast distribution and cutting-edge technology with our award-winning journalism. For years, we've proudly proclaimed that more Americans get their news from ABC News than any other source," said Ben Sherwood, president of ABC News. "Going forward, we will greatly expand this leadership by building a connection with a whole new online audience."
Even before the announcement, ABC News already provided 20 to 25 percent of video streams to Yahoo! News, which has focused more and more on streaming its own and others' original video.
ABC News luminaries including Barbara Walter, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Christiane Amanpour crowded into a New York news conference where details of the deal were announced. Amanpour said she believed the partnership would allow more opportunties to share international stories that may draw more attenton online than on the air, while Couric said it would provide greater "luxury of time" to tell stories.
"It is going to be an electric conversation that we're able to have when we link up all of the Yahoo! team with our team," said Sawyer.
No financial terms were released. But Ross Levinsohn, executive vice president of Yahoo! Americas, said their involvement would instantly increase Yahoo's advertising opportunities.
"What advertiser doesn't want to be associated with this team?" he said.
Levinsohn and Sherwood said they started discussing working together soon after they started their jobs last year. They dubbed the partnership "Project Gulliver" as they worked out the agreement.
ABC News content will be included throughout the Yahoo! News network, including the Yahoo! front page. ABC News will maintain editorial control over ABCNews.com and GoodMorningAmerica.com, and Yahoo! News over its sites.
ABC News and Yahoo! News will co-produce coverage of major news and have integrated bureaus in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
Levinsohn said there were no plans to charge users for any premium content.
"I think we're gonna start free," he said.