Of late, Mayer has been focusing in on a project that is codenamed Index, which is a massive effort at building up mobile search. That focus could come at the expense of Yahoo's adjacent media offerings, said sources.
For now, those parts of the media landscape that remain safe include its big juggernauts: News, sports, finance, style and celebrity content. But it has a lot of other verticals that could be combined with others or abandoned completely, such as movies, beauty and politics, as well as health, autos and crafts.
Yahoo's media unit is now under the purview of veteran media exec Martha Nelson, after the departure of Kathy Savitt. Since she took over it lost two leaders: Ken Fuchs and Rob Barrett.
That may all be moot if Yahoo's board decides that Mayer — who has been urging it to stick with her plan — cannot make it work and takes in bids from possible buyers of its Internet assets.
While there is nothing serious brewing, there would be obvious interest from a plethora of buyers, from private equity firms (less likely) to big media companies (more likely) to telco giants (most likely).
Today, for example, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said in a refreshingly offhand manner at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference today:
"It's just like with AOL, I mean we look at everything across this spectrum. And if we see there is a strategic fit and it makes sense for our shareholders and we can return value, I mean we'll look at it, but at this point it's way too premature to talk about that one. … All I can say is we don't know what Yahoo's board will decide. It's too early to know."