With Content as New King, Yahoo Mulls Spiffing Up Its LA Offices
Is Yahoo readying for a new close-up?
According to sources close to the situation, the Silicon Valley Internet giant has been looking for more high-profile new office space in Los Angeles recently, to consolidate its media and technology operations in Southern California.
Yahoo is apparently evaluating a larger, more central location, said numerous sources, looking for as much as 200,000 square feet to bring together its Santa Monica and Burbank operations. That said, Yahoo may ultimately renew leases in its existing locations in both places.
One prominent piece of pricey Hollywood real estate being considered is the 959 Seward office complex, according to two people with knowledge of the commercial real estate market in Los Angeles.
Interestingly, the space, which is scheduled to be completed in early 2016, would be within walking distance of several Hollywood studios, including Paramount, CBS Television City and Hollywood Center.
The Web portal’s presence in Los Angeles has actually contracted in recent years, amid waves of layoffs and shifts in corporate focus.
But the hunt for a more tony address may reflect CEO Marissa Mayer’s aggressive emphasis on media, including original content, as she looks to attract young viewers to the site as well as the advertisers courting this valuable demographic.
Mayer has made a number of prominent hires — including television personality Katie Couric and the New York Times’ technology columnist David Pogue — and laid out plans to bring high-end television-quality content to the site.
In addition, Yahoo struck a deal last month with Sony Pictures to produce a sixth season of the TV show “Community,” exclusively for Yahoo. The situation comedy set at a junior college has a devoted fan base, but NBC canceled it because of inconsistent ratings.
Yahoo is betting that a known commodity like “Community” will attract more users to the site, who might stick around to watch other content — such as the clips from Comedy Central it also offers.
One talent agent noted that Yahoo will certainly need a more impressive address than its Colorado Avenue facilities in Santa Monica if it plans to continue to court top television talent. But the staff on the west side is apparently reluctant to leave, according to one source.
A spokeswoman for Yahoo did not respond to requests for comment.