Fates & Fortunes Round-Up: March 1-15, 2010

We’re back just in time for March Madness! Sorry for the interruption in F&F service; people much smarter than I were making essential technological changes behind the scenes. I’m playing catch-up with the round-ups so if some of this news seems old to you it’s because it is. But there’s plenty of new stuff in there too.

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.

Big Kahunas

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has been re-upped through Feb. 2015, at an annual salary of $3.5 million plus annual bonuses of as much as $10 million.

Gary Ginsberg was named EVP of Time Warner Inc., where he will advise Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewker on marketing and communications strategy. Ginsberg fills a role left vacant by Ed Adler a little over a month ago. Ginsberg previously held a similar role at News Corp., where he was a key advisor to News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.

Programming Prospects

David Bernath has been promoted to EVP of program strategy and multiplatform programming at Comedy Central. He had been SVP.

Chris Linn was promoted to EVP, production, at MTV.

Tom Purcell has been promoted to executive producer of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. He had been co-executive producer, along with Alison Silverman, who left the show last year.

Shelley Lewis has been named executive producer of PBS’ new program, Need to Know, produced by Creative News Group for WNET.org.  Prior to joining WNET.ORG, Lewis served as executive producer of CNN’s American Morning with Paula Zahn and Greenfield at Large.

Ron Shuping (pictured left), EVP of programming at The Inspiration Networks, retired on Sunday, Feb. 28, after a 40- year career in television. Shuping joined The Inspiration Networks in 1998 as VP, programming and was promoted to EVP, programming in 2006.

Fourteen-year Major League Baseball veteran Nomar Garciaparra announced his retirement from the game Wednesday (March 10) but he won’t be going far.  He will take on a new role around the baseball diamond as an analyst for ESPN, the network said. Garciaparra will be seen on the network’s flagship hardball show, Baseball Tonight, and will appear as a game analyst for select dates.

Orel Hershiser will join Jon Miller and Joe Morgan in the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth for the 2010 season. This is the 21st season that Miller and Morgan will be working together on ESPN’s baseball game of the week.

Susan Levison (pictured right) has been named EVP, creator affairs, at FishBowl Worldwide Media, the newly-formed production company from Vin di Bona and Bruce Gersh. Levison previously was SVP of comedy development at Fox.

Journalism Jumps

Kate Snow, once of CNN and now of ABC, is jumping to NBC’sDateline, reported TVNewser on Friday (March 12). Snow had been with ABC since 2003, when she joined as White House correspondent.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour has been offered George Stephanopoulos’ old job: host of ABC’s This Week, reports FishbowlDC.

CNN’s Gerri Willis has popped right back up at the Fox Business Network. She starts Monday, March 15, and will be hosting a primetime weekend program called Willis Report and will appear across all programming, reports TVNewser.

Tom Mazzarellihas been promoted to senior broadcast producer from senior producer at CBS’ The Early Show, reports TVNewser. Mazarelli joined CBS in July 2008 after launching Mike and Juliet on Fox. Before that, he was a senior producer on the Today show from 2003-2006.

Erik Wemple has been named editor of the new local news startup soon to be launched by Allbritton Communications in the Washington, D.C., region. Wemple comes to Allbritton after eight years as editor of Washington City Paper.

Also in Washington, D.C., Bob Ryan, popular weather forecaster at NBC-owned WRC, will retire from the station after 30 years, a move that may free him to join rival WJLA, an Albritton-owned ABC affiliate.

Rod Carteris leaving NBC affiliate WVTM Birmingham for the second time to return to Tampa to be morning anchor at NBC affiliate WFLA.

Steve Wilson, investigative reporter at WXYZ Detroit, is losing his job after the station declined to renew his contract as part of cost-cutting measures at the station, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Station Switches

Dave Manney has been named managing editor at Tribune’s CW affiliate WPIX New York starting March 1. He joins from Detroit Public TV, where he was director of content. Prior to that, he was online news director for ABC affiliate WXYZ Detroit, where he worked with PIX News Director Bill Carey.

Al Carl is the news director at KMTV Omaha, a Journal Broadcast-owned CBS affiliate. He comes from KSHB Kansas City, where he was executive producer of news. He starts in DMA No. 76 March 1.

Adrienne Roark is moving to Dallas to become the new VP and news director, of CBS-owned stations KTVT/KTXA. Roark succeeds Scott Dienr who has moved to KCBS/KCAL Los Angeles. Previously, she was news director for WFOR/WBFS Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.

Peter Maroney is the new president/GM of KWGN/KDVR Denver, coming to the duopoly from WTVR Richmond, Va.

Corporate Changes

Duccio Donati has been promoted to EVP at Comcast International Media Group, overseeing management of all international channel properties in the areas of distribution, business development, finance and operations. Donati first joined the company as sales executive in 1999.

Randy Brown (pictured left) has been promoted to EVP of affiliate sales and marketing at the Outdoor Channel. He previously as SVP at the channel, which he joined in Sept. 2007. Brown’s elevation comes on the heels of Oudoor Channel’s promotion of Greg Harrigan (have photo) to EVP of advertising sales and last month’s appointment of Todd Merkow to the new position of president, digital media.

Joe Brewer has been named SVP/CIO at Katz Media Group. Previously, he was SVP of information technology services. He has been at Katz since 1996.

Joseph Yospe, CPA, has been named SVP, controller and principal accounting officer at Madison Square Garden Inc.

Dennis Camlek was named SVP of strategic media planning at Turner Media Group in Atlanta. He had been SVP and group account director at PHD in New York.

Lisa Chader has been promoted to SVP of corporate communications at CMT, based in Nashville. Chader joined CMT in 2005 when she relocated from Los Angeles, where she had been director of corporate communications for MTV Networks, representing Comedy Central, VH1 and Spike TV.

Brian J. Reddington has joined PBS as SVP of development. His job will be to help PBS raise money from individual donors, foundations, corporations and other sources. He will also help establish a long-term vision to strengthen funding for PBS and its member stations. Mr. Reddington also will oversee the PBS Foundation, an organization that seeks major gifts from philanthropists to support PBS. Reddington comes to PBS from the Smithsonian Institution, where he was director of institutional advancement from 2006 until 2010.

Ron Harris was named VP of sales and marketing at Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. Previously, he was head of sales at L.A. Digital Post.

Melissa Drucker and Peter Wright each have been promoted to VP, national ad sales at BBC America.

Benoit Landry and Robert Liu each were promoted to director from manager at NBC Universal’s Consumer and Marketing Intelligence division.

Ann Casey has been promoted to director of broadcast metrics at Tribune Broadcasting. Casey had been research director at WGN since 2000.

Kim Norris is the new EVP of advanced advertising strategy and operations at Rainbow Advertising Sales Corp., a division of Cablevision. Norris most recently was Cablevision’s SVP of business development and strategy.

Lisa Rosenblum (pictured right) is Cablevision’s new chief lobbyist, with the title of EVP, government and public affairs.

Felix Ciampa is Madison Square Garde’s new SVP of government affairs, handling lobbying efforts at the local, state and federal levels. Previously, Ciampa worked for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the chief of staff for Deputy Mayor Bob Lieber.

Betti Ortega has joined Mexicanal as its new VP of affiliate relations, while Bill Jenkins was named director of advertising sales. Mexicanal is a Spanish-language network aimed at Mexicans living in the U.S.

Alina Falcón and Luis Fernández each have been named presidents of a division at Spanish-language U.S. network Univision, reports Multichannel News, positions that were just created in a company reorg. Falcón was named president of news. She previously was EVP/operating manager of Univision Network. Fernández was named president of entertainment for Univision Network. He joined the Spanish-language media giant from Corporación Radio Televisión Española (RTVE), the largest and leading broadcasting company in Spain, to head Univision Studios.

Multiplatform Moves

Christy Tanner (pictured left) is the new GM of TVGuide.com. Most recently, Tanner was VP of marketing and editor-in-chief for the site since 2006. In addition, Sasha Eysymontt has been named SVP, engineering; Brandon DiMassa has been named SVP, business development; and Kirsten Rasanen has been named SVP, product development.

Christopher Glowacki has joined AmericanTowns Network as COO. AmericanTowns Network is an online hyperlocal platform providing 250 million people across 15,000 towns and municipalities with access to extensive information on local events, news, community and business resources. Glowacki was most recently the CEO of Plum TV, a company he co-founded in 2003.  Prior to starting Plum TV, Glowacki spent 10 years with NBC as SVP of business development for NBC’sInteractive Media Division. He also was Chief Strategy Officer for CNBC.com.

DC Denizens

Karen Peltz Strauss, independent consultant and co-founder of the Coalition of Organizations for Access Technology, has been named deputy chief of the FCC’s Consumer Bureau.

Julie Brill and Edith Ramirez are the FTC’s two latest members after the Senate confirmed them on Wednesday, March 10.


Dorothy Crompton has joined Eyeworks Distribution as SVP of international sales, and will be based in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Eyeworks Distribution, Crompton headed the international sales and administration department for Rive Gauche Television since October 2003.

Luis Silberwasser has been named international head of content for Discovery Networks International, a new position at the company. Silberwasser will report to Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of the division, who was named to that role in December.

Tech Trades

Yvette Kanouff has been promoted to president of tech firm SeaChange International, while President/COO Ed Dunbar is departing the company, reported Multichannel News. Meanwhile, the company laid off up to 4% of its workforce as it switches its focus to software-centric solutions. In light of that, Erwin van Dommelen has been promoted to president of SeaChange Software. Dommelen was president of eventIS Group, the Dutch VOD vendor SeaChange acquired last fall.

George Horton has been promoted to Solid State Logic’s VP, Western Region and Latin America. He’s been with SSL since 1988.


Larry Sidman, president of the Association of Public Television Stations, is resigning, effective April 1, reports B&C’s John Eggerton.  No reason was given beyond that he had “professional objectives that are of great importance and urgency.” The departure is strange considering that Sidman has been helping negotiate a deal with DISH network on carriage of noncommercial stations’ high-def signals, a deal that is not yet done.

Gary Elliott, VP, corporate marketing, for Hewlett Packard, has been elected vice chair to the Association of National Advertisers’ board of directors.

Lisa Cortes, Cheryl Head and Malinda Maynor Lowery all have joined the Independent Television Service’s board of directors.

Pierre Bouvard, EVP of Arbitron Cross-Platform Services, has been elected chairman of the IRTS Foundation, the charitable organization that brings together media leaders and next-generation communication professionals. The foundation’s board also elected eight new directors March 11. The IRTS Foundation Board, comprised of 63 executives, also announced eight new directors: OMD CEO Alan Cohen; CBS Television Stations President Peter Dunn; Dial Global Co-President and Co-CEO David Landau; Scripps Networks SVP of Corporate Communications Cindy McConkey; MediaVest Director of Local Broadcasting and Senior VP Maribeth Papuga; Telemundo WNJU-TV President and General Manager Carlos Sanchez; Google TV Ads Head of Strategic Partnership John Saroff; and True North Entertainment CEO Stephen Saslow.

Awards and Honors

The long list of the winners of The American Women in Radio and Television’s 2010 Gracie Allen Awards can be perused here. A gala to celebrate will be held May 25 in Los Angeles.

Gary England, director of meteorology at Griffin Communication’s CBS affiliate KWTV Oklahoma City, will receive the Society of Professional Journalists’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Steve Church, founder and CEO of Telos Systems; and Mark Richer, president of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), have been named 2010 recipients of the NAB Engineering Achievement Award. The awards will be presented at the NAB Technology Luncheon on Wednesday, April 14 during the NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Metan Development Group Chairman Martin Pompadur  is one of the recipients of the annual 2010 Ward L. Quaal Pioneer Awards, which will be presented during the NAB Show on April 14, 2010 in Las Vegas through the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Others who will receive the award include Eddie Fritts, Chairman of the Fritts Group and former NAB President/CEO; Kerby Confer, owner, Forever Broadcasting; Wade H. Hargrove, Esq., partner, Brooks Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP; Hal Jackson, legendary on-air personality; and Bruce T. Reese, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bonneville, International.

In Memoriam

It hasn’t been a great couple of weeks for former child stars. First, former Growing Pains actor Andrew Koenig, 41, was found dead Thursday, Feb. 25, in a wooded area of a sprawling Vancouver park, after committing suicide. On March 10, actor Corey Haim, 38, (Lucas, Lost Boys) was found dead in his apartment after fighting a serious drug problem since his teenage years. May both rest in more peace than they found in life.

Actor Peter Graves, who starred in TV’s Mission: Impossible and film’s Airplane, passed away on Sunday, March 14, at the age of 83 of an apparent heart attack. A devout Christian, Graves (nee Aurness) is survived by his wife, college sweetheart Joan Endress, their three daughters — Kelly Jean, Claudia King and Amanda Lee — and six grandchildren.

Merlin Olson, NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman and TV actor, died Thursday, March 11, of cancer of the lung lining at the age of 69. After playing for the Los Angeles Rams for 15 years, Olson became a star on TV’s Little House on the Prairie and then went on to star in his own series, Father Murphy, from 1981-83 and the short-lived Aaron’s Way in 1988.

Jim Tellus, president /GM of Dispatch-owned WTHR Indianapolis, died March 8 of an apparent heart attack while attending a business meeting in Ohio. He was 47. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and four children.

Willard “Bill” Schroeder passed away Tuesday, Feb. 23, at his home in East Grand Rapids, Mich., at the age of 96. Schroeder was a former head of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and president/GM  of WOOD Broadcasting. He is survived by three daughters and one son. His wife, Barbara, preceded him in death.

Dick Bogle, Oregon’s first black TV journalist, former Portland City Commissioner and Clark County resident, died Thursday, Feb. 25, of congestive heart failure at age 79, reports The Clark County Columbian. He is survived by his wife, Nola, son Richard “Buddy” Bogle, and daughters Richelle Lewellyn, Renita Byrd, Ericka Turay, and Tiffany Peaks.

Former KUSA Denver President/General Manager Joe Franzgrote passed away after a long illness March 3. He was 75. Franzgrote retired in 1997 after a 30-year run at Gannett, including a stint at KARE Minneapolis, where he grew the station into a solid competitor. He was succeeded atop KUSA by Roger Ogden.

Bob Wormington (have photo), 83, died Saturday, March 6, of complications from a stroke, reports the Kansas City Star’s Aaron Barnhardt.  Wormington helped put Kansas City’s first TV station, WDAF, on the air in 1949. In 1970, he was named the first GM of KBMA, where he worked for the next 23 years. KBMA changed its call letters to KSHB in 1977 when it was purchased by Scripps-Howard. The station later became a Fox affiliate and is now an NBC affiliate. He is survived by his wife and six children.

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.