updated 06:04 pm EDT, Tue September 18, 2012
Hire intended to head up Microsoft-funded video studio
According the sources familiar with the matter,Microsoft has hired Nancy Tellem, a former CBS television executive. Her role at Microsoft is expected to be oversight of original video content to be delivered to the Xbox 360 game console. Ms. Tellem will supervise a Los Angeles-based production studio that will generate both conventional television-like shows as well as interactive content that fuses television and game content.
Tellem will report to Phil Spencer, the vice president of Microsoft Studios, the division Microsoft that oversees matters related to the Xbox console and brand. "Our early discussions with Nancy around what television could mean on the Xbox platform went well and it became clear her expertise from the television industry could accelerate the strategy we were pursuing," Said Spencer. "We have always known the goal for Xbox is to be a platform for all forms of content."
"What's so exciting about this opportunity is we're looking at the next iteration of television," Tellem said. "We're starting from scratch and we'll be looking at linear and interactive content, both longer-form, like television, and shorter form."
While the hiring is a new report to the technical industry, Tellem has been rumored to be headed to Microsoft for months in the entertainment industry press. Tellem's hiring by Microsoft came from talks that started earlier this year when she met with Microsoft while working as advisor to CBS chief executive Les Moonves.
During her time at CBS, including a stint as president for a time, she drove the migration to digital media, and oversaw the development of CBS.com. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and has received a National Association of Television Program Executives' Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, which recognizes television professionals who exhibit extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating TV programming.