Hearst Ready To Buy Digital Assets; Picard On Audience Buying; Right Media On Data Challenges; AOL Prepares Guillotine

Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Hearst Has A Billion Dollars

And you don’t.

The NY Post’s Keith Kelly writes that the replacement of SVP Ronald Doerfler by Mitchell Scherzer may signal the beginning of a more aggressive digital acquisition strategy as the company looks to grow new revenue stream with its $1 billion warchest. Kelly says that former “Hearst CEO Victor Ganzi was pushed out in June 2006 because he was unable to develop a digital acquisition strategy.” The Hearst checkbook is out! Read more.


Picard On Audience Buying

In “The secret media-buying revolution,” Microsoft’s Eric Picard writes about the move toward audience buying on iMedia Connection. Picard says that during last week’s ad:tech NY bash – after listening to a keynote from Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP and then the ideas of Mediabrands/Cadreon’s Quentin George – it was apparent that audience buying was gaining huge momentum. Read more from Picard.

VC Have Money, No Experience

According to Scott Austin of the WSJ’s Venture Capital Dispatch blog, in a study run by National Venture Capital Association and Dow Jones VentureSource in October 2009, which includes responses from more than 300 VCs and 200 CEOs, VC don’t know jack about operating a business. Read the story. Then, see the findings from NVCA and Dow Jones. In the article, Foundation Capital and First Round Capital are cited as VC who try to specifically differentiate themselves with their entrepreneurial, i.e. operational, experience.

Classifying Data Across Providers

Right Media’s Ryan Maynard summarizes a recent panel produced by Right Media which included executives from AlmondNet, MediaMath, Ziff Davis, eXelate and Experian. Maynard notes, “Taxonomy was discussed at length on the panel, as concerns about differences in the classification of data came to the forefront.” Read more.

Efficient Frontier Sniffing Display

Are search engine marketers finally getting a whiff of the opportunity with display? It would seem so. Jonathan Beeston, SEM Efficient Frontier’s Client Services Director in Europe says “All the trading benefits that we currently enjoy in SEM are being brought to display, for advertisers and publishers alike.” Read more.

Happy Holidays, You’re Fired

Kara Swisher of All Things Digital says the axe will fall just in time for the holidays at AOL as up to 1,000 employees may be let go. Swisher adds that the first step will be voluntary layoffs which include a buyout – an idea which AOL CEO Tim Armstrong evidently heard during a “listening tour” in his first 100 days. Read more.

Another Fund Gets Its Wings

Is that a bell I heard? Must be another angel fund getting its wings. In a release, Wider Wake announced its arrival on the venture investing scene as “an angel investment network, with a focus on investing their knowledge, experience and connections, not simply cash.” Investors include Collective Media CEO Joe Apprendi, Wider Wake’s CEO Paul Olliver, a former exec from Klipmart, Yahoo! and DoubleClick, and Jeannie Gammon who was head of Media Platforms at Google in the U.K. according to the release. Read more. Or, visit WiderWake.net.

Google Skipping Ads

MediaPost’s Laurie Sullivan takes a look at new, skippable ads test being conducted by Google in YouTube. Sullivan writes that the test “will provide Google with insight into the type of person who may skip an ad, what type of ad they might skip, and what piece of content does better than another.” Read more.

The Display Ad Client

CEO Harry Gold of performance marketing company, Overdrive, takes a look at how display advertising can be a part of a performance marketing campaign and notes the importance of “a client who is willing to invest the time and money in cracking the success code for their online display ad channel.” Read more.

Reviewing Rupert

In his Huffington Post article, Jarvis Coffin says that Rupert Murdoch is hellbent on confronting Google as the “serious money” has alluded online publishers while continuing to fill the pockets of Big G according to Murdoch. Coffin notes that in spite of the fact that most publishers live off of their Google relationship, Murdoch’s News Corp. may not need it and thinks that “perhaps Murdoch is getting serious about Internet strategy.” Read more.

Accel’s Billion

With the recent acquisitions of AdMob by Google and Playfish by EA, venture capital group Accel Partners has hit the jackpot and VentureBeat covers the muted celebration. Accel partner and AdMob board member, Richard Wong, said, “I’m frickin’ tired.” Read the VB post on Accel’s pay day from Anthony Ha.

Everyone Needs An Ad Network

In Ad Age, Tod Sacerdoti, founder and CEO of Brightroll, notes the adage that “all great internet companies eventually build (or buy) an ad network” (that’s a new adage to me) and goes on to half-jokingly suggest that some of the big publishers buy some of the today’s larger ad networks such as Specific Media, Adconion, Adknowledge, Azoogle, Collective Media and Tribal Fusion. Read more.