Yahoo meeting: 'big tech and big drama'

Media swarms for annual shareholder gathering

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Media was out in full force Friday morning here in the heart of Silicon Valley ahead of Yahoo's annual shareholder meeting, even though it is expected to be a much more quiet affair than expected just two weeks ago.

CNBC and Fox Business News crews were already set up outside the Fairmont Hotel in downtown a couple of hours before the 10 a.m. kickoff of the event. And the local ABC affiliate also arrived well ahead of the meeting along with The Hollywood Reporter, national newspapers, bloggers and even several German print journalists from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche and Handelsblatt.

Overall, a source said, 50 registered media outlets are present -- well more than at your average shareholder meetings in the media and tech sector. And with only one seat per outlet allowed in the meeting itself, that is a particularly strong showing.

"We've been very aggressive in our coverage," said Jim Goldman, CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau chief who regularly covers the tech giants.

"It's a very big story that affects thousands of shareholders."

With cameras not allowed inside the ballroom where the annual meeting takes place, CNBC is doing live shots from outside the hotel throughout the day.

And that even though the affair is expected to be less explosive than expected last week.

Dissident shareholder Carl Icahn had announced on Thursday that he wouldn't even make the trip here from New York.

That was the latest reprieve for Yang, who just a week before the annual meeting had cut a deal with Icahn that saw the former corporate raider withdraw his own slate of directors. The billionaire maverick agreed to take a board seat for himself and two for confidants of his on an expanded 11-member Yahoo board in return for ending his proxy fight.

Yahoo will add those two Icahn confidants -- out of a group of candidates that includes Hollywood and tech heavyweights, such as Mark Cuban and former AOL head Jon Miller -- and the billionaire himself later, making their presence today unnecessary.

"If Carl (Icahn) was here, there'd be twice as much media," one reporter said.

Still, the tech and business media in attendance sees the event as big enough. "It's big tech and big drama," Goldman said. "It's got all the pieces of the puzzle for us."
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