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Fates & Fortunes Round-Up: Dec. 29, 2009

In numerology, dates are added together to come up with one significant number. Mostly this is done with birth dates or by applying numerological values to letters and adding up the letters in a name. I don’t put much stake in numerology, but it recently struck me that 2010’s number is three (2 + 0 + 1 + 0 = 3). Three is a number with a lot of spiritual resonance – it represents the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost and it also represents body, mind and spirit. Three represents putting concepts into practice, and turning ideas into reality.

Other words associated with three are: creative, socially active, artistic, very positive and optimistic, playful, happy and fun-loving, inspirational, imaginative, motivating, enthusiastic and uplifting. Three is about moving forward and about growth.

Here’s hoping that all of that applies to 2010.

Round two of this week’s media moves includes Tuesday, Dec. 22 through today.  While Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fell during this week, people still managed many life changing decisions in what is typically the calmest week of the year.

As always, you can follow Fates on Twitter @BCFates or me personally @PaigeA if you are also willing to put up with tweets on what I’m looking forward to in 2010. Forward fates to me at or at

Happy New Year!

Big Kahunas

Cablevision CEO James Dolan, COO Tom Rutledge and Vice Chairman Hank Ratner all reupped with the company for five more years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Dolan, whose family is the company’s controlling shareholder, will draw a minimum base salary of $1.5 million annually with a yearly target bonus of up to four times that. Dolan also is expected to become executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Inc., which Cablevision also owns. For that job, Dolan will receive an annual salary of $500,000 with similar bonus options. Rutledge, a highly respected cable executive, will draw a salary of $1.6 million also with possible bonuses of four times that much. Moreover, Rutledge receives a one-time signing bonus of nearly $8 million and another “special stock award” with a target value of nearly $11 million. Ratner, who is slated to become CEO of MSG will receive a minimum base salary of $1.2 million with potential bonuses of up to four times that. He also will receive a one-time “equity award” with a target value of nearly $5 million, according to the Journal which was reporting from a Cablevision SEC filing.

That only took two years: Chris Albrecht (pictured right), former chairman and CEO of HBO, has been named president and CEO of Starz, the Denver-based group of pay cable channels owned by Liberty Media. Starz has been aggressively expanding over the past year, and Albrecht is one of the few people to have overseen the kind of growth Starz is seeking. Albrecht led HBO from 2002-07 and under his watch, the network developed such iconic shows as The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Band of Brothers, Entourage and Six Feet Under. Albrecht left HBO in 2007 after being charged in Las Vegas with misdemeanor assault against a woman believed to be his girlfriend. HBO finally had a hit on its hands last summer with True Blood, but prior to that it had been quite a dry spell for the premium cabler, even while Showtime had critical and commercial success with such shows as Dexter and The Tudors. Albrecht landed at IMG later that year to build up its sports media presence, leaving that company in August, 2008 to return to his own outfit Foresee Entertainment.

A little higher up the chain, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei reupped with the company in a five-year deal that could pay him up to $4.5 million in 2010 if he gets his full bonus, reports the Denver Business Journal.

Programming Prospects

Joan Rivers is returning to E! to host a number of Fashion Police specials tied to awards shows, starting with the Golden Globes edition on Monday, Jan. 18. Khloe Kardashian, Giuliana Rancic and Jay Manuel will join Rivers during the show, with Rivers’ daughter, Melissa, producing. Rivers served as the host of E!’s red carpet specials from 1996-2003 before jumping to TV Guide Network. Most recently she served as host of How’d You Get So Rich? On TV Land.

Emily Mayer has been named VP of development at international reality producer and distribution company GRB Entertainment. Mayer joins GRB from Alchemy Television Group and prior to that she was director of development at 44 Blue Productions. GRB is behind such shows as A&E’s Intervention and Growing Up Gotti.

Corporate Changes

Lorring Allyn and Allen Etherton have been promoted to VPs of finance at Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, the company said Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Station Switches

Kathleen Choal is adding station-manager duties to her news-director title at Cordillera’s NBC affiliate KVOA Tucson. As a result of the change, Assistant News Director Cathie Batbie will be promoted to content management center director. In an unrelated move, Jeff Green has been promoted to local sales manager at the station.

Melissa Manfre has been named director of digital media at Global Broadcasting’s ABC affiliate WLNE Providence. Most recently, Manfre was executive director of sales and marketing/director of production for DiBella Entertainment in New York City.

Journalism Jumps

CNN’s Rick Sanchez (pictured left), will host a new show in 2010 called Rick’s List that will air from 3 to 5 p.m. ET, reports TVNewser. Meanwhile The Situation Room, anchored by CNN vet Wolf Blitzer, will shrink an hour to air 5 to 7 p.m., although Blitzer will fill in from 7 to 8 p.m. until political correspondent John King’s new show launches early in 2010. Editor’s note to Sanchez: no one really cares what viewers are Twittering about. Please stop.

Fox News overnight anchor Lauren Sivan is leaving the network, reported TVNewser via Twitter. On second thought, maybe people do care what viewers are Twittering about. Is that really all the news story we are able to digest, 140 characters on Twitter?

NBC News Tel Aviv bureau chief and correspondent Martin Fletcher is leaving the network, reported TVNewser first on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Fletcher has been with NBC for 32 years. Fletcher recently published his memoir, Breaking News. His second book, with the working title Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of the Nation, is due out next fall.Alexis Glick is leaving Fox Business Network, she announced on her daily show, Opening Bell.  Glick, a former correspondent for NBC’s Today and CNBC, was also an executive director at Morgan Stanley, joining FBN as director of business news in 2006, and anchored Money For Breakfast and Opening Bell after the network’s launch.

CNN’s Elaine Quijano is joining CBS News in New York as a general assignment reporter early next year, reported TVNewser. Quijano joined CNN Newsource in 2000 and moved to CNN as a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent in 2004, primarily covering the White House. Quijano joined CNN after working as a reporter at WFTS-TV in Tampa.

NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman got a lovely early Christmas present: her noontime show on MSNBC, Dr. Nancy, got the axe. Dr. Nancy averaged 5-600,000 viewers and was fourth or fifth in the time period among daytime cable networks. MSNBC in general is struggling, Earlier this month, the network announced that Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie would host an hour-long political show at 9 a.m. ET, and that Dylan Ratigan would be moving to 4 p.m.

Lauren Allison, morning traffic anchor at Fisher’s ABC affiliate KATU Portland, is moving to Fisher’s KVAL Eugene to serve as an anchor and weather reporter, reports Oregon Media Central.

Tech trades

Wayne Luplow has been elected the new chairman of the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s board of directors, succeeding Glenn Reitmeier, VP of technology standards for NBCU. Luplow is the VP of HDTV Standards and Promotion for Zenith, the U.S. R&D subsidiary of LG Electronics. Luplow has served on the ATSC board since 1992. Most recently, he has been leading Zenith’s efforts with LG and Harris Corp. to develop a mobile DTV system for the U.S. Luplow also currently serves as chairman of the Video Systems Engineering Committee of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). In addition to Reitmeier and Luplow, ATSC board members for 2010 include Lynn Claudy, NAB; Brian Markwalter, CEA; Wendy Aylsworth, SMPTE; Sterling Davis, Cox Media Group; Joseph Flaherty, CBS; Andy Scott, NCTA; Jay Adrick, Harris; Victor Tawil, MSTV; John Godfrey, Samsung; Craig Todd, Dolby; Jim Kutzner, PBS; Anthony Caruso, CBC; and Michael Isnardi, IEEE.

Tom Gilley, has been named CTO of Critical Media Inc., developer of end-to-end digital video solutions to capture, monetize, distribute and syndicate content online Gilley was most recently the founder of Vidavee, an on-demand, B2B, Web video company, which was sold to Vignette in 2008. Prior to Vidavee, Gilley was a technology strategist with Compass Advisers, a boutique investment bank.


NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, billionaire founder of Bloomberg News, will receive the Golden Mike Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America this March at a black-tie event at the Plaza. Previous recipients of the Golden Mike Award include Anne Sweeney (2008), Jeff Smulyan (2006), Percy E. Sutton (2005), Bob Wright (2003), and Catherine Hughes (2002). The Broadcasters Foundation provides aid to members of the broadcasting community hit by disease, catastrophic events or family tragedies.

In Memoriam

Percy E. Sutton, politician and broadcaster, died in a Manhattan nursing home on Saturday, Dec. 26, at the age of 89, reported the New York Times. Sutton was a well-known New York politician, with close ties to Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), Gov. David Paterson and former NYC Mayor David Dinkins. He also began investing in media companies in 1971, including a newspaper, radio stations, cable franchises and the Apollo Theater in Harlem as part of his company, Inner City Broadcasting. Sutton is survived by his wife, Leatrice; a son from their marriage, Pierre; a daughter from his second marriage, Cheryl Lynn Sutton; his sister, Essie Mae Sutton of New York; and four grandchildren.

George Michael, longtime sports anchor and host of The George Michael Sports Machine at NBCU-owned WRC Washington, D.C., died at age 70 after a struggle with cancer.

Jim Clarke, 75, an Emmy Award-winning television journalist at Allbritton’s ABC affiliate WJLA Washington, D.C., for more than 40 years, died Dec. 21 at his home in Annandale, Md., reports the Washington Post. Clarke had a heart attack in his sleep after shoveling snow for most of the prior day. Clarke retired from WJLA in 2003 as a national affairs reporter. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Lizbe Schuster Clarke; four children: Christopher Clarke, Kimberly Allen, Katie Adamson and Suzanne Sprague; and eight grandchildren.

Anthony Harris, news director at Post-Newsweek’s KPRC Houston, died of a heart attack on Tuesday, Dec. 22. He was 42.

Sportscaster Dave Diles passed away on Sunday, Dec. 27, at his Ohio home due to complications from a recent stroke. He was 78. Diles worked at E.W. Scripps’ WXYZ Detroit from the late 70s through the mid-80s.

Alaina Reed-Amini, who played Olivia on PBS’ Sesame Street from 1976-88, died Thursday, Dec. 24, in Santa Monica, Calif., of cancer. She was 63. She is survived by her husband, Tamim Amini, who she had just married in 2008.