Yahoo! Goes to Hollywood

Ex-movie honcho TERRY SEMEL is betting his hot Internet brand can win over Tinseltown--and lure the entertainment biz online

TERRY SEMEL WANTED THE DEAL BADLY. FOR months the Yahoo! CEO had watched as the head of his entertainment division, Jim Moloshok, met repeatedly with Mark Burnett, producer of the Survivor series, trying to land the exclusive Internet rights to Burnett's other hit show. Semel knew Burnett was talking to competitors AOL and MSN too. So early last fall the former co-chairman of Warner Bros. made a Hollywood move: he combined a personal plea with a hard sell. When he walked into Burnett's office, Semel didn't waste time with niceties. Burnett recalls, "He said, 'We want to provide valuable content, and...

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