Fates & Fortunes Round-Up: June 1 – June 7, 2010

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Bill Goodwyn, a 23-year vet of Discovery Communications, was named president of global distribution and CEO of Discovery Education, which provides educational media services to schools. Previously, he was president of domestic distribution and enterprises.

Frances Berwick has been promoted to president of Bravo Media. Berwick has been EVP/GM Bravo Media since January 2008. Prior to that, she was EVP/programming and production at the network. She joined Bravo in 1996 from Britain’s Channel 4 Television.


Gavin Harvey has been named CEO of InterMedia Outdoor Holdings’ Sportsman Channel. Harvey previously has been EVP/GM of Fuse; president of Comcast’s sports network, Versus; and EVP/marketing and brand director at E! Networks.

Endemol USA is adding a new office in New York City, and hiring several executives. Dave Hamilton has been named VP/development in NYC and Michael Weinberg has been named VP/development in Los Angeles. Hamilton most recently was VH1’s VP/development and production. Weinberg most recently was Co-EP of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Fox’s Don’t Forget the Lyrics, NBC’s 1 vs. 100 and Comedy Central’s The Showbiz Show with David Spade. In addition, Noah Beery has been named VP/production, coming over from MTV.

Bob Tuschman was promoted to GM at Scripps-owned Food Network. Previously, he was SVP/programming and production at the network. He joined Food Network in 1998 as EP and was promoted to VP/programming and production in 1999. Prior to that, he was a producer at ABC News’ Good Morning America.

Donna Cooper has been promoted to SVP/standards and practices at BET Networks. Prior to this, she was VP/associate general counsel, and before that, deputy compliance officer. Cooper joined BET in 2001 as associate general counsel.

Dexter Cole and Bernadette McDaid each have been named VPs at Discovery’s Science Channel. Cole is VP/programming, while McDaid is VP/production. Cole returns to Science Channel after a two-year stint at TV One as VP/research. Previously, he spent a decade at Discovery, managing research for each of Discovery’s five major networks. McDaid is an independent executive producer and a development executive

Marissa Ronca has been named VP/development at Turner’s truTV. Ronca joined truTV in 2007 and most recently was senior director/development. Prior to that, she was director/development at TLC and Discovery Home.

Chris Valentini and David George each have been hired at Leftfield Productions, producer of cable reality programs. Valentini is GM and George is executive producer/current programming. Valentini comes to the company from National Geographic Channel where he was executive producer. George was an EP at MTV.


Bruce Erik Brauer has been named SVP/creative services for the CBS Television Stations group. Brauer has been VP/creative services at WCBS New York since June 2007, joining the station as director in December 2005. In his new position, Brauer will continue to head WCBS’ creative services team.

Michael Pumo has been named VP/sales at Freedom Broadcasting, working out of WPEC West Palm Beach. Most recently, Pumo was president/GM of Media General’s WFLA Tampa.

Brien Kennedy has been named VP/GM of CBS’ WCCO Minneapolis-St. Paul. Kennedy replaces Susan Adams Loyd, who left the station on June 4. Kennedy comes to CBS from Freedom Broadcasting, where he was GM of WPEC West Palm Beach. Prior to that, he oversaw CBS’ Miami/West Palm triopoly.

WRC Washington President/General Manager Michael Jack has been named president/GM of NBC Local Media’s WNBC New York. He succeeds Tom O’Brien, who has been named EVP of NBC’s Nonstop Network, which focuses on the stations’ digital channels.


Michael Isikoff is NBC News’ new national investigative correspondent, joining the network from news weekly Newsweek, which is up for sale. Isikoff has been with Newsweek since 1994, and is best known for breaking such stories as the Monica Lewinsky scandal during Bill Clinton’s presidency. He’s been a contributor to MSNBC since January 2009.

Doug Kammerer is joining NBC-owned WRC Washington, D.C., as chief meteorologist. He comes to the station from the CBS-owned duopoly in Philadelphia. Prior to that, he was in the South at WOFL Orlando, WJXT Jacksonville and WGXA Macon, Ga.

Dan Ball has been promoted to evening anchor at KVBC Las Vegas, while Jeff Gillan moved off the anchor desk to become managing editor and anchor of the station’s local program, In Business.


Viacom-owned Nickelodeon made several exec changes. Frank Tanki was named SVP/partnership marketing and operations. Previously, he was VP/partnership marketing. Antonious Porch was promoted to SVP/Deputy General Counsel for digital media, global licensing and ancillary businesses. He’s been with Nick since 2004, when he joined as senior counsel. Kevin Ellman was named SVP/business and legal affairs, joining Nickelodeon from Disney/ABC where he was VP of business affairs. Diane Longoria has been named VP/business and legal affairs, global licensing and ancillary businesses, moving over to Nickelodeon from Viacom’s legal group. Lori Silfen has been named VP of business and legal affairs. Previously, Silfen was EVP/music business and legal affairs at New Line Cinema

Rick Wardell has been named VP/national advertising sales at The Inspiration Networks. Prior to this, he was senior director/digital entertainment advertising sales at Rovi, and was director of national advertising sales, Eastern region, for TiVo.


Jonathan Dube, VP of ABCNews.com, is leaving the division after taking a buyout, reports paidcontent.org. Andrew Morse will now manage ABCNews.com and ABC News Now as EP/integration and innovation. Ed O’Keefe has been promoted to EP of ABCNews.com, while Elizabeth Barrett has been promoted to VP/mobile, broadband and operations for ABC News Digital.  In other Disney/ABC digital promotions, Isaac Josephson is now VP/product development, while Stacy Damiani is director of marketing.

Josie Venture has been promoted to VP/primetime production at NBC.com, while Robert Angelo has moved up to VP of latenight, digital and mobile. Ventura has been with NBC.com since 2001, while Angelo has been there since 2005.

Kevin Ota has joined ESPN as director of digital communications. Previously, Ota was with the GCI Group in New York City.

Marisa Woodbury has been named VP of network product and operations at Internet Broadcasting Systems. She joins IB from Travel Ad Network where she was VP of ad operations.


Bob Benya, iN Demand’s president and CEO, has been appointed to CTAM’s 2010 Board of Directors.


Upon acquiring RDF Media Group, Paris-based Zodiak Entertainment has made several executive changes. David Frank, previously CEO of RDF, is now CEO of Zodiak. Lorenzo Pellicioli, Zodiak’s chairman and CEO and CEO of the De Agostini Group, is now chairman of the new Zodiak that incorporates RDF. De Agostini is a family-owned private holding  company.


Actress Rue McClanahan, 76, died Thursday, June 3, of a brain hemorrhage.  McClanahan is well-known for her starring role on CBS’ The Golden Girls, along with Betty White, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty. White, who recently guest-starred on NBC’s Saturday Night Live after a grassroots campaign on Facebook pushed for it, is the last surviving Golden Girl. Arthur died a little more than a year ago, while Getty died in 2008. McClanahan got her TV start on soap operas, but first broke through on Arthur’s sitcom, Maude, where she played Maude’s ditzy best friend Vivian.

Jack Weir, once NBC’s VP/broadcasting, died at the age of 88. He began his career at NBC as a page in 1952, and remained at the network working on the Olympics, special events and many other projects for more than 40 years.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. 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.