Chernin's Contract Negotiations Ongoing With News Corp; How About Leading Yahoo?

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
News Corp COO Peter Chernin is still in negotiations with his company about extending his contract beyond June next year, and isn't sure whether he wants to stay there long term, reports LAT, citing unidentified sources. In normal circumstances, he would have been re-upped for five years, but he may decide to leave, or do a shorter 2-3 year contract, the story says. Of course, this could all just be a negotiating ploy. He has been the president and COO at the media conglom for the last 12 years, and has in large part been responsible for the company's digital forays. In the Q308 earnings call earlier this month, when asked about the contract negotiations, Chernin demurred but Murdoch called them "constructive and friendly."

Chernin, who is 57, has told friends that if he's going to start something new, he wants to do it before he turns 60, according to the LAT. I have an idea: there's this messed-up startup called Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), which desperately needs a turnaround leader. Its current CEO has way-outlived his utility, and the company could use some media focus. One effort to bring in a Hollywood guy did help in the initial turnaround of the company, so if the board wakes up from its stupor, Icahn included, maybe they will try and install a more digitally savvy one this time.

The only thing: Chernin took in $28.8 million in total compensation last fiscal year at news Corp...he may have to learn to do with somewhat less, somewhere between that and Jerry Yang's $1 salary. Could it be...

Pic courtesy: Dan Farber.

By Rafat Ali