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YouTube strikes a deal with Time Warner for content

August 19, 2009 | 11:46 am

Ko5lj1ncGOSSIP "Gossip Girl" is headed to YouTube -- legally this time.

Time Warner Inc. has signed an online video distribution deal with Google Inc.'s YouTube to furnish clips of movies, television programs and news content from Warner Bros. Television, which produces numerous shows including "Gossip Girl" and Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show, and Turner Broadcasting, parent of CNN, Cartoon Network and other cable channels.

The agreement deepens the relationship between the dominant online video site and the media giant, which has been programming an HBO-branded channel since early last year to promote "True Blood," "Hung" and "Entourage." Time Warner will be able to create separate channels for its brands and work with YouTube to woo brand advertisers.

"We're always happy to get a big media company on the platform," said Jordan Hoffner, YouTube's head of premium content partnerships. "They're hitting our sweet spot with short-form content."

"We expect to improve our ability to monetize this short-form content through new and creative advertising initiatives," said Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

Both Time Warner and YouTube hailed the agreement as representing an opportunity to cash in on video clips, which has long presented a challenge for the site Google acquired in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said on a recent earnings call that YouTube would be profitable in the “not too distant future.”

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: "Gossip Girl" star Leighton Meester appears at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards, held at Gibson Amphitheatre. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images