Nancy Tellem switches roles at CBS
The 12-year CBS veteran is shedding day-to-day responsibilities to become senior strategic adviser to CBS chief Leslie Moonves, her boss for the past 23 years. Tellem will help drive new content partnerships, production models and technologies. She assumes the post in January.
"Nancy has been my friend, colleague and trusted adviser for more than 20 years," Moonves said. "She has great experience, business acumen and intellect in all the evolving areas (of our business), and importantly, she knows firsthand all of the resources and talent that we have in this company to make the most of these opportunities."
A former top business affairs exec at Warner Bros. TV and CBS who went on to run CBS Entertainment, Tellem was elevated to her most recent position in 2004, after Paramount Network Television was brought under Moonves as part of the split of Viacom into two companies.
Tellem was given oversight of both the network and the studio, now CBS Studios, to assure smooth integration of the two divisions into the new CBS Corp.
Other recent responsibilities have included supervising CBS' interest in the CW, launching CBS Records and shepherding CBS expansions into new media and emerging platforms.
Tellem will continue to oversee CW in her new post, but with CBS and CBS Studios both on solid ground, she decided to focus on that last area in her portfolio: the expansion in new media and new ways of producing content.
The position she is vacating will not be filled. CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler will run network operations, and CBS Studios president David Stapf will oversee the studio.
"The world is rapidly changing," Tellem said. "I have always had a lot of curiosity, a lot of passion for looking how we can deal with the new challenges. But it became evident that, given the enormity of my job, I had little time to really focus my attention on where my passion is."
After making the decision to segue into the new role, the question came down to the timing of the move. "This is absolutely the optimal time given the strength of the network and the studio," Tellem said.
She doesn't plan to be a traditional consultant who is there only to share advice.
"My knowing the company so well will allow me not just to identify the opportunities but also to ... execute them," Tellem said.
She will continue to be based on the CBS lot and be "available for anything (CBS and CBS Studios execs) may need me for."
Tellem wouldn't comment on the length of her contact for the new job but said, "I'll be here for a while."