An alliance of 30 newspaper companies affiliated with Yahoo has picked digital media pioneer and longtime Squared colleague (including, a couple times, boss) Michael Silver of Chicago as its first executive director.
Silver will “begin developing new opportunities for the Consortium across the digital media landscape, as well as to grow the Consortium’s existing relationship with Yahoo! across content and advertising,” a release today says. “Silver will act in an advisory capacity to help member companies maximize revenue and take on the role of public spokesperson and representative for the Newspaper Consortium. Silver will also be responsible for the management and oversight of the agreements between the Newspaper Consortium’s member companies and Yahoo! and serve as the central point of contact with Yahoo! for members regarding the operation of these agreements.”
Belo, Cox, Lee, McClatchy and MediaNews are among the largest members of the consortium. The Consortium has a challenge or two, obviously, as does embattled Yahoo, the major glue holding it together.
Mike is a great pick for the role. He’s an extraordinarly well-connected, sharp strategic thinker and a great peace-maker with an innate feel for the business, particularly a knack for peering out toward the horizon to see what’s ahead. While working for TRB corporate development in the early ’90s, he discovered — and steered senior management toward — a little Virginia company named Quantum. It became AOL. And the very low millions investment that resulted from Mike’s work made the old Mama T north of $1 billion over time.