Fates & Fortunes Round-Up: June 19 – June 28, 2010

It’s almost July 4 and isn’t it supposed to be slow in TV land? Not so. Check out all the media moves below.

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Imagine TV President David Nevins is taking over for Robert Greenblatt as president of Showtime. Greenblatt — who can be credited with bringing several hits and critically-acclaimed programs to the network, including Dexter, The Tudors, Weeds, Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara – is departing his post in July.

Peter Walker has been named president of Univision Local Media, effective on July 12. Walker comes from Tribune Co., where he spent 17 years, most recently as SVP of Tribune Broadcasting. Meanwhile, Joanne Lynch, president of the Univision Television Station Group, will retire in August after nearly 20 years with the company.

After nearly 30 years at NBC, marketing topper John Miller announced his retirement at last week’s the PromaxBDA convention in Los Angeles. Miller will remain with the company long enough to see it through its transition to Comcast ownership, expected to be completed early next year.


Michael Ferrel — new CEO of CKX Entertainment, parent of 19 Entertainment — signed a deal to remain with the company through February 2013 at an annual base salary of $1 million. Ferrel succeeds CKX founder Robert F.X. Sillerman, who resigned in May.

Heroes’ Jeph Loeb has been named EVP of television at Disney’s Marvel, the company where Loeb worked as a comic writer for years.

Oscar winner Bruce Cohen and TV producer/director Don Mischer will produce the 83rd Academy Awards on ABC next February.

Gena McCarthy has been named senior VP of reality and alternative programming at Lifetime Networks. She comes to the network from Discovery Channel, where she was SVP of development and production.

Marina Anglim has been named SVP of marketing at Discovery Channel and Science Channel, moving over to marketing from media planning and partnerships at Discovery Communications. Meanwhile, Deena Edwards was promoted to SVP of integrated content at Discovery Channel and Science Channel, up from VP of integrated programs at Discovery Networks.

Fred Graver has been named senior VP of programming at Travel Channel. Previously, he was EVP of programming at VH1 and an executive producer of The Jon Stewart Show.

Erin Nowocinski married Brian Gunn on June 19, 2010, and promptly got promoted to SVP of comedy development and current programming at Imagine TV. Good work, Erin!

Andrew Portnoy was promoted to SVP of production, East Coast, at MTV, while Kimberly Rach was promoted to SVP, production, West Coast at MTV. Portnoy previously was VP at MTV, while Rach comes over from Walden Media.

Justin Antony was promoted to VP of talent at Nickelodeon and the MTVN Kids and Family Group, up from VP.

Jason Sarlanis was promoted to VP of series development and original programming at E! Entertainment.

John McDonald was named VP of marketing at Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks. Prior to joining Entertainment Studios, McDonald was director of affiliate marketing at Hallmark Channels.

Morgan Wandell, president of Greg Berlanti TV, is departing his post after a two-year stint at the ABC Studios-based production company, reports Deadline.com. He’ll remain a non-writing EP on Berlanti’s latest TV project, No Ordinary Family on ABC. Melissa Berman will take over Berlanti’s day-to-day operations.

Also from Deadline, Becky Clements, formerly with Brillstein Entertainment Partners, is being named president of Shawn Levy and Marty Adelstein’s new TV production company housed at 20th Century Fox. Levy is the director/producer behind such comedy film franchises as Night at the Museum and Cheaper by the Dozen and most recently produced Tina Fey and Steve Carell’s Date Night. Michael Thorn previously headed Adelstein’s Lost Marbles TV production company, also based at 20th, but last month Thorn was named the studio’s head of drama.

Jeff Matteson and Misty Skedgell have been promoted at Turner Broadcasting to replace Shirley Powell, the longtime Turner PR chief who left the company earlier this year and recently joined the Weather Channel as corporate communications chief, reports Variety. Matteson will serve as SVP and strategic communications officer for Turner Broadcasting, while Skedgell was promoted to SVP of corporate communications.


Mitchell Sternjoins Freedom Communications Inc., the owner of California’s Orange County Register, as CEO. Stern has worked as CEO and chairman of Fox Television Stations Inc. and headed DirecTV, as well. Scott Flanders, Freedom’s former chief, left last year to run Playboy Enterprises…

Tribune Broadcasting is reorganizing its creative services division, saying that it is “blowing up” the traditional TV playbook in order to “reinvent local television,” the company said in a statement. John Zeigler, formerly director/creative services for WPIX-TV in New York, will lead Tribune’s eastern region, while Carrie King, previously director/creative services for WGN America, will lead Tribune’s central region. The company is continuing to seek a new regional vice president for the western division.

Debbie Carter has been named GM of Petry Television’s Los Angeles office. In her new role, she will oversee national sales efforts on behalf of Petry’s TV clients, while continuing to serve as Petry’s West Coast director of sales. Carter has been working in TV advertising for 25 years, starting as a sales assistant with Katz Communications.

Dan Krieger is the new GM at public TV station KCOS El Paso, taking over from Craig Bush. Krieger, an independent business owner, retired nine years ago as GM of KDBC El Paso.

Chris Zerafa was promoted to VP of technology at Tribune’s WPIX New York.


As rumored, CNN’s Larry King will this fall. CBS’ Katie Couric already has said that she’s not taking over the slot, but she is renegotiating her $15-million-a-year deal with CBS. Meanwhile, former Democratic New York governor Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker will co-host a new 8 p.m. program on CNN.

Dave Weigel, who resigned from The Washington Post after his opinionated private emails came to light, resurfaces on MSNBC as a paid contributor, reports TVNwwser.

NBC and MSNBC legal analyst Dan Abrams is joining Investigation Discovery’s line-up with a new show, Chasing Justice with Dan Abrams. The show, which premieres July 12 at 8 p.m., will cull crime stories from NBC’s Dateline and integrate Abrams as host.

WXMI Grand Rapids News Director Tim Dye has been named news director at Scripps’ WXYZ Detroit, starting  July 19.

Elisabeth Deutschman joins the Hollywood Reporter as national sales director, TV, while Victoria Gold comes in as national sales director, reports MediaBistro. Deutschman was previously Western regional sales director for TV Guide; Gold was VP of ad sales for TheWrap.com.

Lisa Flynn, evening anchor at WIVB Buffalo, is leaving the station to spend more time with her family, reports the Buffalo News.

Meteorologist Tom Patton is leaving WWBT Richmond, Va.

Michelle Turnberg, anchor at Hoak’s KVLY and Parker’s KXJB Fargo, N.D., was let go from the station.

Political correspondent Mike Flannery joins Fox’s WFLD Chicago this week. Flannery left CBS’ WBBM in March.

Meghan Danahey, meteorologist at KVUE Austin, is leaving the station to get married and move to Charlotte, N.C. She’ll be replaced on the morning and midday newscasts by KVUE’s weekend weather forecaster Albert Ramon and Ilona McCauley is returning to KVUE. Andrew Chung is moving over to the station from KVIA El Paso in mid-August to do the weekend weather forecasts.

Husband and wife reporter/anchor team, Shawn Ley and Sandra Ali, are leaving their jobs at two different TV stations in Cincinnati and move to jobs at WDIV Detroit. Ali came to Cincinnati in 2004 from Detroit’s Fox affiliate.

Scott Clark, sportscaster WABC New York, will retire in January after more than two decades at the station, reports the New York Daily News’ Richard Huff.


Paul Newman has been promoted to SVP of International Technical Operations at NBC Universal. Newman has been at NBCU since January 2008, and prior to that, he was VP of network operations for eight years at Discovery Networks Europe.


Former Hearst-Argyle Executive VP Terry Mackin is back in the media business as president of ForesightLab, a consulting firm specializing in digital media. He left Hearst in February 2008 to run the Univision stations and he left Univision inside of six months later.


Aaron Goldberger, former senior legal advisor to the FCC’s Wireless Bureau chief and a legal advisor to then-Chairman Kevin Martin, has joined Neustar as VP, regulatory affairs, primarily representing the company before the FCC, as well as with industry groups and associations.


Arthur Schweitzer, who spent seven years working to attract new participants to Reed Midem’s international MIP and MIPCOM TV conferences, has been named senior consultant and liaison for the NATPE 2011 Market & Conference on Jan. 24-26 in Miami Beach. Schweitzer joins Gary Mitchell, NATPE’s London-based European business development executive, in reaching out to the European marketplace to expand NATPE’s reach to the international markets. Schweitzer owns Cinevest Interactive, a New York-based global content sales company.


ABC’s Charles Gibson was honored as Broadcaster of the Year by the New York State Broadcasters Association, during the association’s annual executive conference.

Oprah Winfrey is being named to the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame, reports Robert Feder. Ironically, the last person to be named to the association’s Hall of Fame was none other than Charles Gibson in 2007. No one was inducted in 2008 or 2009.

Chicago public TV station WTTW is creating The John Callaway Excellence in Online Journalism Fellowship in the memory of Chicago Today’s founding host. Callaway died unexpectedly a year ago.  The full-time, ten-week fellowship is open to graduate students at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, who will win a $3,000 stipend if they are granted admission to the program. For information on how to contribute to The John Callaway Excellence in Online Journalism Fellowship, and student application requirements, visit www.wttw.com/chicagotonight.

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.