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Yahoo! Revamps Media Group

Yahoo! (YHOO) has revamped the high-profile media group headed by former ABC television executive Lloyd Braun, according to a memo posted on the Web site PaidContent.org .

The changes come as the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company changes the focus of the business from producing original content to distributing content developed by partners. Yahoo! scaled back plans by Braun to create video productions because Chief Executive Terry Semel found them too similar to television programs. These changes led to friction between Braun and Semel that insiders say has since been resolved.

During a speech last week at the company's analysts' meeting, Braun said that Yahoo! wanted to create unique experiences for users that would be difficult for competitors to replicate. The company couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the media group changes, which had also had been reported on the gossip site ValleyWag .

Yahoo!, which has more visitors than any other Web site, runs some of its most well-known features though the media group, such as fantasy sports, business news and music. Braun was hired to run the business in November 2004.

Vince Broady, a former CNet (CNET) executive, is joining Yahoo! as head of its games and entertainment unit. At CNet, his responsibilities included GameSpot , which he cofounded.

Yahoo! Sports head David Katz will now also run Yahoo! Studios, which will focus on the development and production of event-based, original and user-generated content for the business, the memo says. Scott Moore, who oversees news, finance and technology, will now run health and lifestyles.

Shawn Hardin will leave Yahoo! to pursue other career opportunities, the memo says. He was hired by Yahoo! from Time Warner's (TWX)America Online unit last year.

Shares of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! rose 71 cents to $31.17 in early trading.

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