As the major broadcast networks prepare their scaled back TV upfront presentations for this spring, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) held its first programming preview for advertisers in New York on Thursday. Mediaweek has the rundown on Microsoft’s Digital Showcase, which was meant to signal the software maker’s increased focus on creating original, ad-supported programming across its MSN portal, MSNBC.com and Xbox Live. Microsoft also sought to emphasize the high level of targeting involved in the shows, with programming aimed mostly at males.
– Malleable: Microsoft’s programming preview looks like any other upfront presentation, but there was at least one important difference. The shows that broadcasters highlight to advertisers at their upfront events are pretty much set in stone. Microsoft told advertisers directly that they would be willing to work with them on “tweaking” the shows depending on their needs. As an example, Gayle Troberman, MSN’s head of branded entertainment, said that its comedic home improvement show In Need of Repair could tone down the humor and be made to seem more “service oriented.” Some details about the shows after the jump.
— In addition to Repair, MSN’s Branded Entertainment group is producing another show for younger men called The Men’s Room, a how-to fashion series for those who probably shun magazines like GQ and Details. There’s also two shows with a music bent: Seven Secrets About