The scent of Semel
There's a hot seat in the corner office. It seems as if CEOs have the life expectancy of baseball managers, fruit flies, or Van Halen lead singers. On Monday, it was Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Terry Semel's turn to go.

The flashy Hollywood import who steered the online giant through the dot-com bust rubble eventually hit a brick wall. The company's failure to keep up with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) forced his resignation.

Don't look for a sizzling, seasoned outsider to take the reins. Company co-founder Jerry Yang will step in as CEO. It wasn't the sexy choice. It wasn't the choice mandated by internal stagnancy that begged for new thinking. The market let Yahoo! have it.

"Like clockwork, you can expect a temporary pop in the share price this morning," I wrote the day after Semel announced that he would be stepping down. "Then things will settle down again, once the market realizes that Yahoo! is simply reshuffling executives."

The roundtrip didn't take long. The stock did pop higher on Tuesday, but closed lower on the day. This isn't Wall Street throwing in the towel. However, it is going to press Yahoo! into proving that it really is different this time.

"But I've changed," an ex-boyfriend will plead to the incredulous girlfriend who dumped him. If Yahoo! wants back into the market's good graces, it's going to take more than roses, boxed chocolates, and skywriter apologies.

The dance floor fills then clears
Rupert Murdoch's quest for Dow Jones (NYSE:DJ) is inching closer to becoming a reality. The controlling Bancroft family that once opposed the $60-per-share News Corp. (NYSE:NWS) buyout is now letting the Dow Jones board handle the negotiations. This comes as a once-cluttered dance floor of rival offers is thinning.

A group led by General Electric (NYSE:GE) bowed out of the running on Thursday. A late push proposed by MySpace founder Brad Greenspan seems too feeble. It's getting close to being a done deal, unless there are private equity firms waiting to pounce at the last minute.

One can't dismiss the chubby bellies of private capital. Between Blackstone Group's (NYSE:BX) ballyhooed IPO on Friday and KKR's announcement that it too will go public, there's punch to the paunch. Still, it looks like Murdoch is going to get his paper.

Ironic, isn't it? In the same year in which Dow Jones publications Barron's and The Wall Street Journal get smaller in size, Dow Jones as a story gets larger.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield-wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.