Yahoo Snags Veteran Investigative Journalist Michael Isikoff For New Unit

Michael Isikoff

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The web portal continues to amass content folks as it seeks to redefine itself

Yahoo has hired veteran investigative reporter Michael Isikoff to lead a new investigative unit, the web portal said on Sunday.

“He’s a guy who breaks a lot of news and starts huge national conversations,” Megan Liberman, the editor in chief of Yahoo News, told The New York Times.

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Isikoff recently left NBC News, where he appeared frequently on-air to comment on national current affairs around the war on terror. He has also been at Newsweek, which laid off dozens of journalists after ending its print incarnation, but is best known for his leading role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal with President Clinton of the 1990s, when he was at The Washington Post.

The hire, and the ambition for a site known mainly for aggregation and engineering prowess to start an investigative unit, is the latest gambit for Yahoo, which has set its sights under Marissa Mayer to become a leader in news content. Liberman herself is a former deputy editor at The New York Times, and Yahoo has also recently hired the Times’ David Pogue, news anchor Katie Couric and the political writer Matt Bai.

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The site has also launched into producing original entertainment, as well as pushing into lifestyle verticals for fashion and beauty. It’s still unclear whether this shift will arrest the declining advertising for the giant portal, whose value has come mainly from its stake in Alibaba in China.