CBS Executive Nancy Tellem Eyeing Position at Microsoft (Report)

Nancy Tellem - P 2012
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The software firm refused to speculate on whether the former president of the CBS Network TV Entertainment Group would make the move.

Microsoft on Tuesday refused to confirm or deny published reports that former CBS executive Nancy Tellem is considering joining the software firm to help turn its Xbox and Zune platforms into more formidable distribution outlets for TV and movie content.

Tellem stepped down as president of the CBS Network TV Entertainment Group two years ago and has been a senior adviser to CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves ever since.

While sources at Microsoft refused to speculate on whether Tellem would be hired, some say she's an obvious fit because of her familiarity with digital media and her deep connections in Hollywood, crucial if she's expected to battle with the likes of Netflix and Apple iTunes, which are ahead of Microsoft when it comes to the distribution of traditional entertainment content.

"We do not comment on rumors or speculation," a Microsoft spokewoman said Tuesday.

While Xbox Live boasts 40 million members, it's still not top-of-mind among many consumers looking for on-demand movies and TV shows. And Microsoft's Zune Marketplace, of course, is nowhere near as popular iTunes. Tellem, just as much an afficianado of new media as she is of old-school television, would be expected to remedy those situations.

Tellem helped create shows like ER and Friends and was responsible for lineups that included CSI and Everybody Loves Raymond. In 2009, The Hollywood Reporter named Tellem the third most powerful woman in Hollywood, right after Oprah Winfrey.