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“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Hilary Schneider making an immediate impact at Yahoo!

Posted by direwolff on November 20, 2006

Only a few short months ago, the high flying executive from what until recently was Knight Ridder, joined the ranks of Yahoo! and in no time flat she’s paying dividends. Bringing Hilary Schneider (who was heir apparent to Tony Ridder, taking over the reins of Knight Ridder) in to run Yahoo!’s Marketplaces was an excellent move on Yahoo!’s part, as she truly understands the classifieds business and how online can impact them, better than any other newspaper executive. Hilary was a trend-setter as head of Knight Ridder Digital and really lead the charge in such investments as CareerBuilder, Classified Ventures, Topix.net, Tribe, and other online initiatives. She wasn’t afraid to try new things. She’s well respected in her industry and her rolodex in the newspaper industry is fantastic. With Yahoo!’s announcement today of the deal with 150 newspapers, I can tell you that it’s got Hilary’s fingerprints all over it.

Here’s one of the quotes from the article that I particularly like:

Dean Singleton, head of MediaNews Group, publisher of The Denver Post and the San Jose Mercury News, called the arrangement a “transformational” deal, according to a statement.

Transformational indeed. It may be noteworthy to point out that Dean worked for Hilary at Knight Ridder. The Denver Post and the Merc were both sold by McClathy to MediaNews Group as part doing the acquisition of the Knight Ridder properties earlier this year. Hilary had been instrumental in working through the integration issues of her cyberspace investments with the newspaper sites despite a lot of resistance with each newspaper’s management team. Some embraced the online world, like the Merc who did a lot of pioneering here, but the yang to their ying came from some of the Philadelphia publications where it was like pulling teeth to get them more involved. But Hilary persevered.

With Yahoo!, she has the wonderful advantage of understanding the newspaper customers and what makes them tick, and with her leadership at Yahoo!, I believe that she’ll be able to provide the company a viable set of products which should really help advance Yahoo!’s local presence in ways that some of the other large portal players will not likely soon duplicate.

I did find it a shame that the press release about the 150 newspaper deal had a Terry Semel quote but no Hilary Schneider quote, which in that world I believe would carry a lot more weight.

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