Microsoft opens production studio in Santa Monica

microsoft2.jpgLooks to be a fairly small space at 520 Broadway, according to the Business Journal, but the facility points to Microsoft's renewed interest in original content. To that end, former CBS executive Nancy Tellem, hired by Microsoft last year, has created a separate entertainment division to produce original and interactive programming for its Xbox Live gaming and streaming system. Microsoft has dabbled in Hollywood before - mostly with bad results. And whatever content the company does develop will only supplement arrangements with studios, networks, and other producers. Still, this is considered a potentially big deal. Along with the Santa Monica lease, Microsoft is taking 25,000-square-feet at the Reserve building just to the north of the Playa Vista complex. (The Reserve, formerly a Postal Service facility, is also where TMZ will be moving into.) The leases are further examples of how the Playa Vista area, along with Santa Monica and Venice, are morphing into a formidable media and technology presence - what boosters have been dubbing Silicon Beach. Google, You Tube, Facebook and others have established outposts in the area. The big loser in this migration is downtown L.A.: Microsoft is vacating 37,000 square feet at the Wells Fargo Tower, reports the Business Journal.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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