To be very clear (again): the Yahoo media brand isn’t going away.
On Monday, Business Insider reported a scoop: that after Verizon completes its acquisition of Yahoo, AOL and Yahoo “plan to call themselves by a new name” and that the new name is Oath. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who oversees the media division that will include Yahoo after the acquisition closes, subsequently confirmed the Oath name with a tweet.
But the immediate headlines about this news were extremely misleading. “Say goodbye to AOL and Yahoo,” read the headline at The Week. “Yahoo to be renamed Oath,” said the original headlines at The Hollywood Reporter and at Axios. Those are incorrect.
Yahoo, the media brand that so many consumers know, and that includes Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo News, and other verticals, is not going away.
Oath is simply the name Verizon has chosen for the media division that will house 20 Verizon-owned media brands, including Yahoo’s sites, AOL (including TechCrunch and Engadget), and Huffington Post.
— Tim Armstrong (@timarmstrongaol) April 3, 2017
Think of Oath like Vox Media (the name of the media company that owns Vox.com, Curbed, Racked, and SB Nation) or Gizmodo Media (the company, formerly Gawker Media, that owns Gizmodo, Deadspin, and Jezebel). This is a typical house-of-brands strategy.
As for why Verizon chose the name Oath (rather than simply calling the media division something like, say, Verizon Media), the company is not commenting.
A spokesperson for Verizon would only say: “In the summer of 2017, you can bet we will be launching one of the most disruptive brand companies in digital.”
This situation is very similar to what happened in January when Yahoo Inc filed an 8-K form stating its planned name for the company that will remain after Verizon buys Yahoo: Altaba. (It was formerly called “RemainCo” in acquisition documents.) The filing led many outlets to erroneously report that Yahoo, the media brand, would be changing its name to Altaba. But Altaba will simply be a holdings entity that owns a 15% stake in Alibaba, a 35% stake in Yahoo Japan, and a small portfolio of patents called Excalibur.
The Yahoo that you know is not changing its name.
As AOL has publicly stated already, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, and Yahoo Mail are all sticking around after the Verizon acquisition—but now we know that they will be part of a media division at Verizon called Oath.
Disclosure: Yahoo Finance is part of Yahoo Inc, but covers Yahoo Inc as it would cover any other large public corporation.
Daniel Roberts is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering sports, tech, and media. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.