Microsoft Scales Back TV Ad Ambitions

Plans to cut 15 to 30 percent of its sales force in June

Remember when Microsoft and Google were going to blow up the TV business? Well, Google’s TV stumbles have been well chronicled. And now, Microsoft is curtailing its ambitions. The company has quietly begun shuttering its Microsoft Advertising TV Network, a division focused on selling TV ads using set-top box data for smaller cable networks owned by NBCUniversal and Viacom. A handful of associated staffers have recently received severance packages, while some executives have been redeployed or have left for other jobs, said Scott Ferris, gm of emerging media and video.