Steve Rubel has this to say on the CNN text link on My Yahoo!:
Is this advertising or is Yahoo! simply recommending feeds based on what you read? It’s unclear. If this is indeed advertising, it’s a brilliant move on CNN’s part to attract readers, mindshare and traffic.
Most likely the link is an advertisment by CNN – even if you create a page dedicated to unrelated topics, the CNN link will still be there.
What puzzles me is why CNN did not decide to purchase an automatic content spot (like USATODAY).
Right now users of My Yahoo! can select the CNN feed optionally when adding new content. CNN could generate much more readership and traffic by having Yahoo automatically include the CNN feed in the News section.
Update: Steve Rubel has the scoop and looks like I was completely wrong.