08/01/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

E! Exec Explains Network's Formula To Success: "A Lot Of Our Talent Have Gone To Jail"

Here at EconCeleb, Virginia Heffernan, a columnist for The New York Times Magazine, kicked off our first panel of the day with executives from Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Entertainment, E! Entertainment and Access Hollywood.

Most popular programming for each outlet: Sibyl Goldman, GM of Yahoo Entertainment: For us it was interesting to see what worked once all the Paris Hilton-mania faded last summer. "A year ago, Miley Cyrus certainly wasn't on my radar," but Cyrus outperformed Britney Spears recently on their site following her Vanity Fair photo shoot. "That was a scandal made out of what I thought was a non-scandal." Beyond that it's the "new up-and-coming people," and country stars have been performing well for us.

-- Suzanne Kolb, CMO, E! Entertainment and The Style Network; GM, E! Online: Romance and fashion is particularly strong. The latest plots and story lines from TV shows are particularly important to TV fans that check their site. Online is "a different take on celebrity, a different way in." On air, it's the usual celebrities. Sending the audience into a short burst of laughter, she threw in: "A lot of our talent have gone to jail and we've been very clear on that."

-- Rob Silverstein, executive producer, Access Hollywood: "A year ago it was a tsunami of news that really hit everybody." They decided to begin skewing the show and online property to a younger audience following that. "We're specifically targeting that so the kids and the parents might tune in together to watch the show." Most recently, an interview with presidential candidate Barack Obama's kids was a huge hit. Comprising eight pieces total that aired over a four-day span, the Obama kids' first-ever interview drove the show's ratings up 25 percent, but they still weren't at the level they were at a year ago.