Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is known to spend money. Worth hundreds of millions of dollars herself, the flashy CEO will often wear designer dresses worth as much as a car to the office and even once chartered a private jet to fly cupcakes from New York to California.
The so-called Cupcake Princess has racked up a series of expensive acquisitions during her time as Yahoo’s CEO, spending $30 million for 18 month old Summly, a startup that didn’t even own the technology that made its product. She further paid $1.1 billion for mostly-porn blog network Tumbler and recently outbid the rest of Silicon Valley for the rights to live-stream an early morning, low ratings, NFL game.
Ms. Mayer continued her spendthrift ways on Friday, by retaining high profile yet questionable value proposition Katie Couric, as global news anchor for Yahoo.
Yes, Yahoo has a TV news network.
Ms. Couric will receive a whopping $10 million per year to be the face of Yahoo news, principally conducting high profile interviews like the one she had with Senator Lindsey Graham earlier on Friday.
The move to retain Couric shows Yahoo’s desire to transition from a wire copy and video syndication model to more original news content.
While already one of the country’s most popular news web site, it produces virtually none of its own news.
The $10 million payday represents a 66 percent raise from the $6 million she was previously paid. While the new package contains some performance incentives in order to hit the $10 million it likely those will be achieved, given Team Couric’s savvy at negotiating the deal.
For Yahoo the pricey contract, coming amid flat revenues and profits during Mayer’s tenure, makes it hard to imagine it ever recouping such an investment in any host. Unlike television networks Yahoo has no subscription revenue streams, relying solely on advertising. This makes it far less lucrative than television.
Yahoo declined to comment on the new deal but did seem to hint that Ms. Couric will be sticking around.
It’s hard to imagine anyone wouldn’t stick around for $10 million cash per year.