Updated May 22, 2018 - Technology

Tech's TV talent trove

The netflix logo is displayed on a mobile phone with headphones plugged in

Photo: Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tech companies that don't have storytelling at their core are recruiting their way into the future of television, poaching high-end names from TV networks or household names that they know will lure viewers.

The latest: Netflix announced Monday after months of speculation that Barack and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series for Netflix.

  • Netflix, in the past year, has hired Grey's Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes from ABC, and Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy from FX.
  • Amazon announced Monday that it has hired NBC vet Vernon Sanders as co-head of television at Amazon Studios. He joins top TV exec Jennifer Salke, creator of hits like This Is Us, who was hired in February to run Amazon's in-house film and television studio in April. Amazon also hired “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman from AMC last year.
  • Apple poached Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two executives who oversaw productions such as “Breaking Bad” and “The Crown,” from Sony Pictures Television last year. "We don't know anything about making television. We don’t really know how to create shows. We were cognizant of that," Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue told CNN's Dylan Byers in March.

The big picture: Most big tech companies have the scale to buy content companies, but have shied away from acquisitions of TV networks and have instead opted to invest in either talent or franchises.

People are trying to pull out the parts of the body without having to buy the whole body.
Ross Gerber, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management
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