Senior Vice President of Digital Media
Columbia Tri-Star Television Group
During the past two years, Robert Tercek and his team at Columbia Tri-Star Television have created online versions of “Jeopardy,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “The Dating Game.”
Now he is using broadband technology to take those games to the next level by letting people at home play against the contestants on television. Some of those games could hit TV as soon as this fall.
Tercek, 36, was hired two years ago by Columbia Tri-Star to develop game shows and other ways to take advantage of the interactive approaches that will be made possible by broadband. He describes his job as bringing “a wacky creative vision to interactive TV.”
Tercek believes the broadband revolution won’t be limited to TV. He expects the technology to provide myriad ways of connecting with consumers.
“We can design relevant programming for wireless, narrow and broadband networks pagers, cell phones, PCs and set-top boxes,” he says. “We can use all these gizmos and chase the audience. This is such a great playground.”
The post with Columbia Tri-Star, which is owned by Sony, is the latest show business job for Tercek, who graduated from Williams College in 1985 with a degree in English literature.
The Fulbright scholar started out in TV production. At MTV, he helped develop “MTV Unplugged” and launch MTV Asia while overseeing on-air promotions.
In 1994, he joined 7th Level Software as founding partner and creative director. The firm developed interactive titles like “TuneLand” and “Monty Python’s Complete Waste of Time” while raising $35 million through an IPO.
From there, Tercek founded YoYoDyne to develop content for CD-ROMs, TV and the Web. That company was later acquired by Cortina Entertainment.
Tercek envisions lots of possibilities for broadband, even including the whimsical notion of a “smart fridge” a refrigerator connected to the Internet that can tell when you’re out of milk. It will then e-mail the grocer to deliver another gallon and electronically transfer the funds from your bank account.
Margot Carmichael Lester