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Fates & Fortunes Round-Up: June 28 – July 6, 2010

Welcome back and hope everyone had a great long weekend. The minute the weekend ended, the Fates announcements started rolling in. So let’s get back to it — follow Fates on Twitter @BCFates or me personally @PaigeA. Forward fates to me at or at


Larry King, 76, longtime host of CNN’s Larry King Live, announced on June 29 that he will end his 25-year run atop the program. The show has been facing declining ratings, although King cited a desire “to end the nightly grind” and work on his marriage to seventh wife Shawn King, which nearly ended in divorce earlier this year. Potential replacements for King include King’s personal choice, Ryan Seacrest, as well as Joy Behar, Piers Morgan and Katie Couric, although sources close to Couric say that she’s not interested. Her contract with CBS News is due for renewal.


Brandon Riegg, ABC’s executive director of alternative series, is jumping to rival NBC as VP of alternative series and development, reports TheWrap. His contract at ABC expired in May. NBC is working on boosting its reality programming. A few weeks ago, Meredith Ahr was promoted to SVP of alternative programming and development.

PBS CEO Paula Kerger has reupped for three more years.

Michael Klein was named SVP of original programming development at the Sundance Channel. Previously, he was SVP of content at Travel Channel.

Whitney Holland was named VP of acquisitions at the Hallmark Channel. She came over from Bravo, where she was VP of program planning, scheduling and acquisitions.

Jenny Hope is the new supervising producer of Entertainment Studios’ America’s Court with Judge Ross. She’s also produced Family Courtwith Judge Penny, Divorce Court, Power of Attorney and Texas Justice.


Jackie Bradford has been promoted to president and GM of NBC’s WRC Washington, succeeding Michael Jack, who is now president and GM of WNBC New York. Bradford previously was president and GM of KNSD San Diego.

Dave Davis is heading back to WABC, the New York O&O he ran before being named executive VP of the news division in 2007. Davis succeeds Rebecca Campbell, who is now head of ABC’s 10-station group.

WCPO Cincinnati VP/General Manager Bill Fee will retire at the end of 2010. Fee has headed up the Scripps station for 12 years, and has been part of Scripps for 32. “I deserve a break,” quipped Fee, who turns 63 this month.

Former WAVE Louisville station manager Nick Ulmer has been named VP/GM at WFIE Evansville. He succeeds Debbie Bush, who moved to KOLD Tucson in April; Ulmer started at WFIE earlier this month. Both WAVE and WFIE are owned by Raycom.

Steve Harrington has been named VP of engineering and operations for Fox’s KTTV/KCOP Los Angeles. Harrington comes to Los Angeles from Fox-owned WFXT Boston, where he spent seven years as VP of engineering. Prior to that, he was with Boston public TV station WGBH and Sunbeam’s NBC affiliate WHDH.


Shannon High, MSNBC’s managing editor of news, is moving to NBC News’ Peacock Productions, reports TVNewser.

Bob Sirott, former anchor at NBC’s WMAQ Chicago, signed a multiyear deal to anchor the news on Fox-owned WFLD, where he hosted the morning show from 1994 to 2000, reports Chicago media blogger Robert Feder. Sirott starts on July 19.

Cyndy Brucato, anchor at Hubbard’s KSTP St. Paul/Minneapolis, is leaving the station at the end of the summer. She’s starting her own communications company, and will still work on special projects for the station.

Wayne Carter is WWL New Orleans newest anchor, picking up the weekday 5 a.m. newscast, which starts up right when many visitors to New Orleans are getting to bed.

Jacqueline London has left CBS affiliate WKMG Orlando, reports the Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker, after her contract was not renewed due to the continuing difficult economic conditions.

Erika von Tiehl, evening anchor at CBS’ WFOR/WBFS Miami, is moving to Philly to join Ukee Washington as co-anchor of Eyewitness News This Morning on CBS’s KYW-WPSG Philadelphia this August.

WXMI Grand Rapids News Director Tim Dye has been named news director at WXYZ Detroit. He starts at the Scripps TV station July 19.

April Samp has been named news director at LIN’s Norfolk, Va., duopoly WAVY/WVBT. Previously, she was news director at WGAN/KFXA Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Sarah Truitt has been promoted to news director ABC affiliate WMDT Salisbury, Md., reports Rick Gevers. Truit has been at the station for seven years, and replaces Dawn Mitchell, who passed away in late April.

Here’s more from Gevers, who publishes a very helpful blog and electronic newsletter focusing solely on news directors, producers and general managers:

Crystal Bruce joined Media General’s WSAV Savannah as executive producer, after producing at KTNV Las Vegas for the past two years.

Julie Roy is a new executive producer at Media General’s WBTW Myrtle Beach, S.C., after working for WEWS Cleveland.

Eric Greene is the new EP/assistant news director at WCTI New Bern, N.C., coming down from WPMT Harrisburg, Pa.

Gil Buettner, station and general sales manager at NBC’s WJFW Wausau, Wisc., is retiring from TV but he’ll keep working as a full-time flight instructor for Wausau Flying Services.


Harry Neuhaus, director of East Coast sales and operations for LATV Networks, has joined cable ad sales company Petry Network as VP, International.

Todd Siegel has been promoted to EVP of Fox Cable Sales, heading ad sales for the company’s sports-focused cable networks, Speed, Fox Soccer Channel, Fuel TV and national programming at Fox Sports Net.  Siegel has been SVP of ad sales for Speed since 2004, and prior to that he was EVP for Screenvision.


Brian Spiers was named VP of sales for Digital Broadcast North America. He’s a 25-year veteran of the broadcast sales industry with experience in sales and management at Thomson as regional director Central USA and Canada; Grass Valley Group as national sales manager Canada; and Tektronix as an account executive.


FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made two key appointments over the past week: Rick Kaplan has been named chief counsel and senior legal adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, succeed Bruce Gottlieb, who will be leaving the commission at the end of July. Kaplan has been chief of staff for Commissioner Mignon Clyburn since August 2009, and first joined the commission in early 2009 as deputy coordinator of the DTV task force. And Dr. Douglas C. Sicker, currently associate professor of computer science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been named chief technologist.


Erin M. Fuller is the new president of the Alliance for Women In Media, formerly known as American Women in Radio and Television. Fuller is group president at The Coulter Companies, a firm that specializes in working with nonprofit organizations in transformative ways and serves as the professional management company for the Alliance for Women in Media. Fuller previously was the chief staff executive for former Coulter client the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Kathryn Tasker has joined Public Knowledge as Web content and new media associate, after serving as an intern with the organization last summer. Tasker just graduated with honors from NYU with a B.S. degree in media, culture and communications.


Keith Silver, former news director at WWLP Springfield, Mass., died on Friday, July 2. He was 80.

Paul Johnson, former morning traffic reporter at KNBC Los Angeles, died Tuesday, June 30, of a brain tumor at the age of 75. He is survived by his wife, Nancy. Donations can be sent in the name of Paul Johnson toChildren’s Hospital of Orange County at CHOC Foundation, 455 S. Main Street, Orange, CA, 92868.Please remember to include Paul’s name in the memo section of the check.

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.