Inside Move: Microsoft to tap media czar

U Television & Networks' Westlake believed to be point man

Tech behemoth Microsoft looks to be getting serious about the entertainment business again. Company is on the verge of appointing a new corporate media czar — this time someone with Hollywood street cred — to spearhead its disparate efforts in digital media, TV technology, gaming and rights management software.

Former Universal Television & Networks Group chairman Blair Westlake is believed to be the new point man to steer the Redmond, Wash.-based computer empire’s efforts to get its entertainment-relevant technologies and Windows-based systems deeper into the film, TV and Internet worlds.

Microsoft has had mixed results in its attempts to shape the media world. But it is eager to establish broader strategic alliances with key audio and video providers in order to facilitate convergence of the Web, TV, vidgames and digital music.

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