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Yahoo Retread; Best Blogs of 2006

Top Stories For the Week of December 4 – December 8

 Pity poor Lloyd Braun. Just a few years after being ousted from Disney, Yahoo’s man in Santa Monica charged with blending the Internet with Hollywood showmanship has been ousted in a reorg (via Hollywood Deadline Daily) that also kneecapped COO Dan Rosensweig. Valleywag  sees Braun’s ouster as an admission that Yahoo’s “Hollywood” strategy has failed, but back in October, BusinessWeek was already wondering whether Yahoo shouldn’t focus on being a tech company rather than a media company. GigaOM blogs that the exodus of Yahoo middle managers was a sure sign of internal malaise, and that CEO Terry Semel’s 1,500-word press release doesn’t indicate whether anything will really change at Yahoo. The reorg’s big winner is CFO Susan Decker, who NY Times and others now see as Semel’s heir-apparent.

In other personnel moves, blog emperor Jason Calacanis has joined Sequoia Capital as an  “entrepreneur in action,” a decoder-ring way of saying watch this space for my Sequoia-backed start-up, blogs TechCrunch. It’s a big rise in status for the abrasive Calacanis, since he profited nicely from selling Weblogs Inc. to AOL but had trouble finding respect there. He certainly doesn’t get it from A VC, who thinks Calacanis will last all of two months at Sequoia. And he doesn’t get it from SEO Blackhat either who scoffs at Calcanis’ assertion that SEO is bulls**t.

 Elsewhere in blog-land, Susan Mernit reports on continuing growth and new staffers at Om Malik’s OMniverse; NewTeeVee covers online video, Hollywood style. Paul Boutin reports that former Wag editor Nick Douglas has landed a thrice-weekly media column for the Huffington Post. Matt Craven announced the sale of the Blog Herald and that he will consult and do the occasional column. He also cites ten bloggers he respects–and six who just bug him. And Mr. Web 2.0 himself, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch will give up all-nighters and take a 2 month break and live with his parents, but not before going on the record to say Valleywag’s Nick Denton is evil.

It’s the end-of-the-year list season and Fimoculous kicks it off with the Best Blogs of 2006 That You (Maybe) Aren’t Reading, including design-focused Pulse Laser, affordable stuff-focused Josh Spear, and the landscape architecture mavens at Pruned. Pro photojournalists won’t have Reuters on their end-of-year lists, since it will partner with Yahoo to harvest amateur photo and video for undisclosed compensation, another nail in their profession’s coffin, blogs Deep Jive Interests. If all those  photogs decide to get tech jobs, they could do worse than try LinkedIn, which Next Net blogs is now up to 8 million members.

In politics, non-Hillary Dems are putting out feelers for 2008. Riehl World View blogs that Barack Obama has been courting George Soros-size donors, Wonkette thinks Joe Biden is still dull, Al Gore keeps raising his media profile by criticizing President Bush (via Think Progress) and, heaven help us all, Dennis Kucinich may run again (via Taegan Goddard). On the GOP side, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee may announce a run along with the release of his new book, but Right Wing News thinks John McCain is still clearly ahead of Rudolph Giuliani and Massachusetts‘ Mitt Romney.

And finally in entertainment, Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston have split mirroring their movie The Break-Up. Vince is now just another Aniston Friend, writes Jossip, while Gawker blogs that Vaughn may already be cavorting with naked dancers in Budapest. In happier news, Britney is back on top, leading Yahoo’s list of most-searched terms as she has for 5 out of the last 6 years.

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