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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Is Barry Diller edging back into the entertainment world?

It's a question journos like to ask every so often about Diller, a veteran of Paramount, ABC, Fox, and QVC. Can he really contain himself to the world of e-commerce (he now owns sites like and Expedia)?

The NY Times had a piece yesterday headlined, `Diller’s Web: Think Cable of the Past.'

Richard Siklos writes:

    IAC is an Internet company, after all, and Internet companies promise higher growth than media businesses typically deliver. But could Mr. Diller resist his past? Hollywood dominates his résumé, and [IAC programming president Michael] Jackson had worked for him previously, overseeing the USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel, among other TV and film ventures.

    So far, Mr. Diller has allayed their concerns. He has not gone out to buy a studio, nor has he leaped onto the latest wave of Internet content megadeals by laying down big dollars for the likes of a Facebook or YouTube.

    Instead, a glimpse at Mr. Jackson’s early efforts in online programming are now coming into view: he is thinking big by going small, investing in and starting targeted content sites built around humor, news and popular culture that remind him of the early efforts in cable television programming.