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Fates Round Up, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013

Here is a compilation of the latest executive moves in the industry.

Hollywood publicist Eddie Michaels died Thursday in Los Angeles at the age of 49. Michaels, who had been in the industry more than 25 years, died from complications resulting from brain cancer treatment. He was first diagnosed with the disease seven years ago and had been in remission until last year. He is survived by his wife, Lorin, and his children, Dylan and Matthew.

John Seigenthaler will join Al Jazeera America as the anchor of the network’s primetime evening news program, the network announced on Aug. 8. Seigenthaler previously anchored the weekend addition of NBC Nightly News and has also appeared on Today, Dateline-NBC and Meet the Press. Al Jazeera America’s evening news program is slated to start Aug. 20.

NBCUniversal announced on Aug. 8 the appointment of three positions. Phil Cara and James Kreckler were both named senior VP of digital entertainment advertising sales. Aaron Radin was tapped as the senior VP of partnerships and portfolio products. Cara, who worked as senior VP of sales at the Huffington Post from 2010-2013, will supervise digital ad sales for a number of sites, including Fandango and E! Online. Kreckler, who joined NBCUniversal in 2012 at VP of ad sales at iVillage, will manage marketing campaigns and created revenue for all of the company’s digital entertainment portfolio. Radin, who previously served as CEO at Toura, will oversee new portfolio ad products and initiatives for NBCUniversal.

Julie Alexandria, Shandi Finnessy, Alex Miranda, Ron Pitts and Mayleen Ramey were named correspondents of Ok TV!, an entertainment magazine scheduled to launch on Sept.9, show representatives announced on Aug. 8.
The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council tapped on Aug. 8 Dr. Nicole Turner-Lee as VP and chief research and policy officer at the organization. Turner-Lee previously served as president and CEO of the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications. She left NAMIC in July after the organization cleared her of alleged financial and operational improprieties. D.C.-based MMTC is a nonprofit that promotes civil rights in the media.

David Luner was upped to executive VP of brand partnerships & franchise management at FremantleMedia North America, the company announced on Aug. 8.
Luner, who has held a number positions at FremantleMedia over the last decade, will start his executive VP duties immediately. He will now report to FremantleMedia CEO Thom Beers and will supervise the company’s additional businesses.

Willinger Talent Agency announced a number of client moves on Aug. 8. Anne-Marie Green was tapped to anchor CBS News’ Up to the Minute and CBS Morning News. Cara Santa Maira will co-host new cable channel Pivot’s Take Part Live. Del Walters was named an anchor for Al Jazeera America. Maurice Drummond will be sports director at KMOV in St. Louis, Mo. Jessob Reisbeck will serve as weekday morning anchor at Milwaukee’s WITI. Matt Johnson will work as a reporter at KFMB in San Diego, Calif. Walt Maciborski will serve as the main weeknight anchor at KEYE in Austin, Texas. Julie Grant will be the weekday morning anchor at WGHP in High Point, N.C. Mahsa Saeidi is a reporter at NY1 in New York City. Jamie Ratliff works as a reporter for WVIT in Hartford, Conn. Nineveh Dinha has been upped to 4 p.m. weekday anchor at KSTU in Salt Lake City.
HLN chief Scot Safon will leave the network at the end of August, CNN confirmed Aug. 7. Ken Jautz, CNN/U.S. executive VP, will run the channel until a permanent replacement is found. Safon’s departure is part of CNN Wolrdwide president Jeff Zucker’s restructuring of the network. Safon has been with Turner Broadcasting, CNN and HLN’s parent company, for 22 years. Andrew Morse, head of Bloomberg U.S. TV, will also join CNN as part of the restructuring. Morse will serve as senior VP of CNN/U.S. and supervise the newsgathering and digital editorial efforts of the network.

Will Somers was promoted to senior VP, network research, Fox Broadcasting Company announced on Aug. 7. Somers, who joined Fox in 2000, works as head of the company’s audience intelligence and research strategy team. Before working at Fox, Somers did audience and program research for Disney’s Buena Vista Television syndication and Touchstone Television studio.

Susan Levison has been tapped as the executive VP of original programming and production at VH1, the network announced Aug. 7. Levison, who previously worked at FishBowl Worldwide where she sold various scripted and unscripted series, will supervise VH1’s original programming. She replaces Jeff Olde, who is now executive VP of program development E!.

Disney/ABC Television Group named Paul Pastor senior VP of strategy and consumer analytics, the company announced on Aug. 7. Pastor previously served as VP of strategy, CRM and media planning and will now be responsible for all research activities of the ABC Television Network, ABC Studios, ABC Family and Disney/ABC Domestic Television.

Darrell Brown was named president of KSL Broadcast Group on Aug. 7. Brown previously served as president of McGraw-Hill Broadcasting. KSL Broadcast Group includes NBC affiliate KSL Salt Lake City and KLS NewsRadio.

Ali Fedotowsky and Jesse Giddings will join E! News as correspondents, the network announced on Aug. 7
. Former Bachelorette Fedotowsky previously worked as a guest reporter and co-host for the channel and hosted the lifestyle show 1st Look. Giddings formerly served as host of Canada’s MuchMusic show New.Music.Live.

Erica Hill was promoted by Q13 Fox to news director and current news director Jon Brady was named director of content and news programming, the company announced Aug. 7. Hill, who was previously assistant news director, will oversee the news department and execute long-term goals in addition to continuing as news director for Q13 Fox’s sister station KRCW-TV in Portland. Brady will supervise daily news department content in addition to long-form news and sports.

Adam Williams was upped to co-anchor of the 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts with Kim Khazei  at 7 News, WHDH-TV in Boston. Williams previously anchored the 4, 4:30, and 5:30 p.m. newscasts for the station and was the anchor of Today in New England.

PBS Newshour made a number of announcements on Aug. 6. Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will co-anchor and serve as managing editors of PBS Newshour. Hari Sreenivasan will work as a senior correspondent for the program. Jeffrey Brown will serve as chief correspondent for arts, culture and society. Ray Suarez will be the chief national correspondent. and Margaret Warner will work as the chief foreign correspondent.

The Walt Disney Company upped Nancy Kanter to executive VP of original programming and general manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, the company announced on Aug. 6. Kanter, who joined Disney in 2001, has rebranded Playhouse Disney to Disney Junior and has led Disney Junior’s creative content and brand promotion.

Al Jazeera America named Neal Scarbrough as senior executive producer for sports programming and Jeff Green as executive producer of sports programming on Aug. 6. Scarbrough previously headed AOL’s sports division  and served as senior news director and editor-in-chief of Green most recently worked as supervising producer of special events at Current TV and played a key role in launch of the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network.

Steve Marcopoto announced Aug. 6 that he will step down as president and managing director at Turner International Asia Pacific when his contract ends in December. Marcopoto will continue to serve as a senior advisor to Gerhard Zeiler, president of Turner International.

Univision Communications Inc. announced Aug. 6 that Teri Arvesu will join Univision Chicago as news director.
Arvesu comes to Chicago from WLTV in Miami where she worked as an executive producer.

Sara Haines will join ABC News as a New York-based correspondent for all its programs, the network announced Aug. 6. Haines previously worked as a contributing correspondent for NBC’s Today.

Al Jazeera America announced Aug. 6 formation of a documentary unit in advance of the network’s planned Aug. 20 launch as a 24/7 cable news channel. Kathy Davidov has been tapped as senior executive producer for the documentary unit. Cynthia Kane will serve as the unit’s senior producer. Davidov comes to Al Jazeera America from National Geographic Television where she worked as executive VP of production. Kane previously focused on documentaries at ITVS.

David Levy has been named president of Turner Broadcasting, the entertainment company announced Aug. 5. Levy, who currently serves as president of advertising, distribution and sports at Turner, will join John Martin as part of the company’s new management team to replace current CEO Phil Kent, who will retire at the end of the year. Martin previously worked for Turner’s parent company, Time Warner, as CFO. In Levy’s new role, he will supervise the company’s entertainment and animation & young adults network.

Ryan Seacrest will host and executive produce NBC’s new interactive game show The Million Second Quiz, the network announced Aug. 5. The Million Second Quiz pits contestants head-to-head in an outdoor trivia competition for a million seconds (11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes and 40 seconds). The show premieres Sep. 9 at 8 p.m. ET.

Shine America named two new VPs on Aug. 5. Robin Feinberg, who has worked as a producer on a variety of shows, will take on the role of VP of programming. Rachel Dax, who formerly headed High Noon Entertainment’s west coast production, will join Shine as VP of production.

Feinberg, who has worked as a producer on a variety of shows, will assume the role of VP of programming while Dax, who formerly headed High Noon Entertainment’s west coast production, will join Shine as VP of production.

Fox made a number of personnel announcements this week in anticipation of the launch of its new channel, Fox Sports 1. On Aug. 5, Michelle Kwan, who is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, will join Fox Sports as an Olympics analyst during the network’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Julie Stewart-Binks, already an anchor and correspondent for Fox Sports 1, has been tapped to host the weekday half-hour show Fox Soccer Daily. On Aug. 6, Chris Chelios, a retired NHL defenseman and Hockey Hall of Famer, was named as an NHL and Olympics analyst across all of the network’s sports platforms; Mike Hill, who left ESPN in June, will join Fox Sports Live as a guest host and Fox Football Daily.

Spike TV announced Aug. 5 that it had tapped Adam Carolla to host the upcoming unscripted series Catch a Contractor. He will work with contractor Skip Bedell, and his wife, investigator Allison Bedell to seek retribution for homeowners cheated by contractors. The show is scheduled to air in 2014.

Warner/Chappell Production Music, Warner Music Group’s production music arm, named Randy Wachtler president & CEO Aug. 5.
Wachtler founded the music production company 615 Music and co-founded the Production Music Association. He will report to Cameron Strang, chairman and CEO, Warner/Chappell Music.

Ensequence, an interactive TV vendor, announced Aug. 5 that David Kline will become the company’s COO. Kline, who has worked as an advisor to Ensequence since last year, will head the development of new advertising products.

Adam Hertzog has been tapped to lead the Golf Channel’s News Department, the network announced Aug. 5. Hertzog, who has been working as coordinating producer and writer for ESPN, will serve as VP of news and studio productions, reporting to the network’s EP Molly Solomon.

Al Jazeera America named three correspondents Aug. 5 for Real Money with Ali Velshi. Patricia Sabga, who comes from CNN Headline News, will report on how economic stories affect Americans. Duarte Geraldino, a former Wall Street corporate analyst, has been tapped to cover money stories. Stacey Tisdale, who previously worked for PBS’ Need to Know, will report on personal finance.

NPR News announced Aug. 2 that Eric Deggans would join the organization as TV critic and correspondent. Deggans previously worked as a media critic at the Tampa Bay Times and will start working full time for the news outlet in October. He has previously produced radio spots and appeared as an expert on various NPR News programs.