Former AOL Honcho Lands At Yahoo! Media

Yahoo! Tuesday announced the appointment of former senior vice president of America Online broadband Shawn Hardin as vice president of content operations within the Yahoo! Media Group in Santa Monica, California. Hardin will join the company on May 2, the same day as former MSN executive Scott Moore, and together they will oversee a number of media sites within the group, under the direction of Lloyd Braun, head of the Yahoo! Media Group.

"The Yahoo! media group is creating the primary place for consumers to discover, create, share, and enjoy these exciting new experiences, and I am thrilled to be part of the team making it happen," Hardin said in a statement.

The appointment of Moore, and now Hardin, feeds speculation among industry watchers about Yahoo!'s intentions as a media content provider. Yahoo!, headed by former Warner Bros. co-chair Terry Semel, has made a number of moves signaling an interest in original content, including hiring Braun and announcing plans to set up shop in Santa Monica.

Hardin, 43, left AOL in February, where he served as senior vice president of broadband. In this position, Hardin led development of the "AOL for Broadband" service experience, in addition to home networking business requirements, broadband advertising development, and the extension of the AOL broadband service "Beyond the PC."

Hardin has broad experience in the areas of online entertainment and programming. He spent seven years working with NBC, where he served as executive vice president, chief product officer, and group general manager for NBC Internet. At NBC, Hardin was responsible for all product and programming, design and usability, and research. While at NBC Entertainment, Hardin, as vice president and executive producer of NBC Digital Productions, oversaw both online content and enhanced-television services.

"Shawn's broad experience across the Internet, entertainment, film and television industries provides a unique perspective that will make him a valuable member of our management team," Lloyd Braun, former ABC Television chair, said in a statement. "His long-standing relationships and creative background are well-suited to helping Yahoo! be a valuable, innovative partner to media companies as we work to develop the next generation of online content."