F & F Round-Up: March 29 – April 6, 2010

I’ll admit it: I’m looking forward to watching Tiger at the Masters this weekend. I hope he somehow manages to play so well that we stop talking about his personal life and return to admiring his golf.  Tiger’s lost some important things through this scandal — self-respect, many sponsors, millions and millions of dollars — I hope he hasn’t lost his game too. At any rate, Tiger’s return should send CBS’ and ESPN’s ratings through the roof.

As always, you can follow Fates on Twitter @BCFates or me personally @PaigeA, although depending on workload and computer health I’m not always as twittery as I should be. Forward fates to me at BCFates@gmail.com or at palbiniak@gmail.com.

In the News

Looks like MSNBC is playing hardball with David Shuster (pictured left). The broadcast journo has been suspended indefinitely at his network for allegedly shooting a pilot at CNN, where Shuster once worked, reports TVNewser’s Gail Shister. According to a piece by the New York Observer’s Felix Gillette on Friday, the pilot featured Shuster and NPR’s Michel Martin, who doesn’t seem to be getting a similar amount of flak from her network for checking out other projects. Shuster’s contract at MSNBC is reportedly up at the end of the year.

Big Kahunas

David Sternberg has been named CEO of Universal Sports, while Perkins Miller, formerly senior VP of digital media for NBC Sports and Olympics, has been named COO of NBC Sports/InterMedia Partners. Sternberg formerly was EVP/COO of emerging networks at Fox Cable Networks. Westlake, Calif.-based Universal Sports is a joint venture between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners.

Programming Prospects

Ken Schwab is out as SVP programming at Discovery, to be replaced by Kevin Bennett.

Susan Rovner has been named EVP, development, at Warner Bros. Television. Rovner succeeds Leonard Goldstein, who left to become head of television at Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire production company. Previously, Rovner had been WBTV’s SVP, drama development since 2002.

Zev Shalev, formerly executive producer of CBS’ The Early Show, has been named executive producer of Sony and Harpo’s The Nate Berkus Show. Terry Murphy will be the show’s co-executive producer.

Kathryn Ann Busby (pictured right) has joined TBS as VP, comedy development.  Previously, she was SVP, production at New Line Cinema.

Leslie Chesloff has been named EVP, programming at the Gospel Music Channel. She joins from Ion Media Networks.

Former RDF USA CEO Chris Coelen is starting up new production company Kinetic Content, hiring Jennifer Danska, Gerald Massimei, Katie Griffin and  Matilda Zoltowski to help him. Zoltowski and Danska will serve as SVP development and current series; Massimei is VP development and current programming and Griffin is manager of development. Coelen expects to end up with a team of 8 to 10 when he’s done hiring.

Priscilla Pesci has been named SVP, TV marketing and Tori Crotts has been promoted to executive director of television marketing at Lionsgate Television. Pesci comes to Lionsgate from MGM Worldwide Television Group where she was SVP, marketing.

Anna Rios has been named director of research at Si TV. Most recently, she was primetime research manager at ABC.

As first reported by B&C, veteran Fox broadcaster Chris Rose will join MLB Network as an in-studio host starting Friday, April 2.  Rose made his debut on MLB Tonight and was part of the network’s 14 hours of live Opening Day coverage April 5.  Rose will continue his work on Fox Sports. Earlier this month, MLB Network and Fox Business network announced a talent and news-sharing partnership for baseball’s spring training.

Journalism Jumps

Rebecca Jarvis has been named newsreader for CBS’s The Early Show’s Saturday edition as well as business/economics correspondent at CBS News. Jarvis joins CBS from CNBC, where she reported from the NY Stock Exchange.

Andy Rosa Adler has joining NBC’s KNBC Los Angeles as a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter. For the past three years Adler was a sports anchor and fill-in host of Good Day New York at Fox’s WNYW New York. She replaces Alycia Lane who became a co-anchor for the station’s early-morning newscast, Today in LA, in February.

Todd Woolman has been named EP of Good Day Chicago at Fox’s WFLD Chicago. Woolman comes to WFLD from CBS’ WBBM, where he was assistant news director.

Business reporter Betsy Stark is yet another ABC News employee to lose her job as the news organization continues to make drastic personnel cuts. Two weeks ago, correspondents Lisa Fletcher, Laura Marquez and Brian Rooney (son of 60 Minutes’ Andy Rooney) were informed that their contracts would not be renewed.

Tracy Brogden Miller has joined media consulting firm SmithGeiger as a Senior Consultant. She most recently was news director at Belo’s KCTV Kansas City.

Coleen Marren, news director at KDKA Pittsburgh, is leaving after just nine months to become news director at WTIC, a Fox affiliate in Hartford, Conn., where she previously served as news director in the early 1990s. Ms. Marren is a Connecticut native.

The Hollywood Reporter’s intrepid and highly prolific Nellie Andreeva has left that publication to join Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com where she will cover television. Andreeva has a masters degree in physics from the University of Sofia in Bulgaria so we’re not sure why she’s frittering away her time on TV, but we wish her the best.

Likewise, Eric Mika, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, departed, reported The Wrap. THR is under new management, after e5 Global Management purchased the publication from Nielsen Business Media in December.

Station Switches

Hearst Television Executive VP/CFO Harry T. Hawks will retire in May.  Hawks founded Argyle Television with Bob Marbut in 1992, built up the company, and took it public in 1995. Two years later, Hearst and Argyle came together to form Hearst-Argyle Television. That company, comprised of 29 TV stations and two radio outlets, recently was taken private and incorporated into Hearst.

Viki Regan is out as GM at Scripps’ WEWS Cleveland. Regan ran Hearst’s WPBF West Palm Beach for 11 years before departing in April 2008.

Robert Oswaks has stepped down as president of marketing at Sony Pictures Television. Two years ago, he had been promoted to marketing president. Oswaks had been with Sony since May 2000.

Todd Brecher has been named SVP and associate general counsel of business affairs at Cablevision Systems Corp. Prior to this, he was VP and assistant chief counsel at Time Warner Cable.

Mark Archer has been named VP, sales development, at multi-platform ad sales firm WorldLink.

Cathy Goldman  and Ken Grayson each were promoted at NBC Entertainment, with Goldman named VP, brand strategy and Grayson named VP, media.

David Taghioff, formerly head of William Morris’ London office, has been named COO of  sports and entertainment marketing firm Octagon Entertainment. There he joins former WMA colleague John Ferriter, Octagon’s managing director, to operate the entertainment team.

DC Denizens

Edith Ramirez is the newest member of the FTC, after being sworn in on Monday, April 5. President Obama nominated Ramirez on Sept. 25, and she was confirmed by the Senate March 3. Ramirez has been a partner with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in L.A., where she was an intellectual property and antitrust competition attorney. Like the president, Ramirez is a Harvard Law graduate and a former editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Technology Transfers

Technicolor, the French conglomerate formerly known as Thomson, announced last Wednesday, March 31, that it will reorganize the Grass Valley professional broadcast equipment business unit that it has been trying to sell since January 2009. To that end, Technicolor will eliminate 25% of Grass Valley’s workforce, totaling 625 jobs worldwide. It will reorganize Grass Valley into three distinct segments: broadcast, headends and transmission. Grass Valley’s revenue fell nearly 110 million or 31% between 2008 and 2009.

Frank Jachetta has been named managing director of MultiDyne Video & Fiber Optic Systems. Jachetta previously was SVP of sales and ops. In addition, Fred Scott is joining the company as VP of sales and business development, while Matt Watkins has been promoted to sales and system design manager.

Gordon Tubbs has been named director of sales at Fujinon’s broadcast division.


Washington attorneys Lee Levine and Cliff Sloan have joined The Media Institute’s First Amendment Advisory Council.   Levine is a founding partner of the national media law firm Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP, and is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. Sloan is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, specializing in intellectual property, media, and entertainment.

In Memoriam

As I noted last week, I only just started watching HBO’s brilliant The Wire two weeks ago (I’m only eight years late to that party), but I think that just made me sadder to hear about the death of David Mills, David Simon’s long-time collaborator. The two worked together on The Wire, The Corner, Homicide and together were producing Treme, HBO’s upcoming series about post-Katrina New Orleans. Mills, at just 48, died Tuesday, March 30, of a brain aneurysm in New Orleans while literally working on the show. You can read an obit of him by his sister on Mills’ own blog here.

Actor John Forsythe, the voice of Charlie in Charlie’s Angels and the patriarch in ABC’s Dynasty, died Thursday, April 1, at the age of 92. He is survived by his wife, Nicole, his son and daughter-in-law, Dall and Ana Marie Forsythe , his two grown daughters, Page Courtemanche and Brooke Forsythe, as well as six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Roy Hardee, former news director at Gray’s WITN and Media General’s WNCT, passed away Thursday, April 1, of Parkinson’s disease at the age of 79. Hardee covered news in Eastern North Carolina for more than five decades. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, and his son, Lee.

Former KYW-TV Philadelphia Reporter Malcolm Poindexter died Tuesday, March 30, at age 84. The four-time Emmy Award winner retired from KYW in February 2001. He is survived by his wife, Ilse, a former librarian with the Free Library of Philadelphia; his sons, David and Malcolm III, daughter, Lynne and a stepdaughter, Kirsten.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997 - September 2002.