EXCLUSIVE: Nancy Tellem, the highly respected former television executive, who has been running an Internet start-up and has been on the MGM board since 2013, is now stepping into the office of the CEO at MGM. She is expected to help on overall company strategy with top execs Mark Burnett and Chris Brearton, sources tell Deadline.
Specifically, Tellem has joined MGM’s Office of the CEO as Executive Director and will help on long-term strategy for the company. She will remain on the board and continue to report to the board. MGM had no comment.
Tellem has years of experience in the entertainment industry and because of that has been serving on the MGM board for the past five years where she has been involved in company’s strategic direction and operations. She is now expanding her executive director duties beyond the boardroom, representing the board in the office of the CEO, which includes the company’s divisional heads.
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While sources acknowledge Tellem’s business saavy, they also say her arrival into the office of the CEO also signals that other, more widespread changes may be afoot; her arrival is raising questions across divisions.
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Tellem was one of the highest-raked women in television during her lengthy tenure at CBS where she rose to President of the Network Television Entertainment Group, overseeing both the CBS network and CBS TV Studios.
For the past decade, Tellem has been focused on new media ventures. She launched Microsoft’s short-lived Xbox Entertainment Studios and has served as Executive Chairman and Chief Media Officer of EkO (formerly Interlude).
Tellem’s appointment comes after Burnett re-upped with MGM last June until 2022 and was given the title of chairman of the studio’s Worldwide Television Group and after MGM Television has expanded its scope of unscripted content development and production.
MGM TV’s original series portfolio includes The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo and Vikings.
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