Yahoo CEO gags at gossip glut

Britney overload makes Bartz want to 'throw up'

All that Hollywood gossip news is starting to bug Yahoo.

At its annual shareholder's meeting Thursday, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz proclaimed her solidarity with a man who practically begged her to reduce the amount of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" and similar celebrity news off the home page.

Bartz referred to something she called a "Fluff-o-meter," so users can tell Yahoo what kind of news they prefer to be pushed their way.

"What I see when I log on Yahoo 10 times a day is a lot of Hollywood news, a lot of Entertainment Weekly," a shareholder complained to Bartz during the question-and answer period of the meeting.

Bartz waved her hands and shook her head in agreement and attempted to chime in a few times, but the shareholder wasn't finished.

"I am sick of hearing about those guys with the eight kids," he said.

"Please stop dumbing down the home page. We can use CNN-type stuff. We can handle it. Give us something that's not Hollywood," the shareholder said before Bartz interrupted.

"Can I speak now, because this is my favorite topic," she said. "I'm the same way. If I see another Britney Spears thing, I'm gonna throw up."

Then she mentioned something they're doing internally called the Fluff-o-meter where -- presumably some time in the near future -- users can customize their preferred mix of hard news and fluff, which, of course, will only work if consumers will be honest about what they want.

"Even though people don't like to declare it, there's a lot of sneaky people that love that kind of news," she said. "We don't have to know who they are, but just declare, 'I want all hard news, I want half hard news, or I want the real mix of entertainment and whatever."

"I very much understand your issue," she told the shareholder.

"My I.Q. thanks you," he responded.
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