Fates Round Up, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013

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

Fusion, the joint venture between Disney-ABC Television Group and Univision. announced key members of its sales team on Aug. 20. Mark Olsen, who has worked in sales at ABC for 13 years, was named VP for Fusion sales. Noreen Iqbal, who has held roles in sales and pricing & planning over the last 10 years at ABC, will serve as director of Fusion planning and pricing. Jay Williams, who worked as an associate account executive for primetime at ABC, has been tapped to be an account executive for Fusion sales. Jose Castaneda, who comes to Fusion as an account executive from estrellaTV, will join the network as an account executive for Fusion sales.

MSNBC has upped Izzy Povich to VP of talent and development, MSNBC President Phil Griffin announced in an internal memo on Aug. 20.
Povich, who has been with MSNBC since 1996, will  oversee talent development and recruitment across all MSNBC platforms and will also work on editorial strategy and special projects.

Ahmad Rashad will join Back9Network as an executive producer and on-air host, the golf lifestyle network announced on Aug. 20.
Rashad comes to Back9 from the Golf Channel where he worked as a co-host for Morning Drive.

Marian Davey was promoted to news director at KMSP Minneapolis, Minn., the station announced on Aug. 20. Davey, who was upped from assistant news director, has been with the station since 2002. KMSP is owned by Fox.

Nicole Moye will join WLNE Providence, R.I., as news director, the company announced on Aug. 20. Moye, who previously worked as an assistant news director at WPMT Harrisburg, Pa., will start at the ABC affiliate on Aug. 21.

Jessica Yellin has been promoted to chief domestic affairs correspondent and substitute anchor at CNN, the network announced on Aug. 20. Brianna Keilar, who has worked as a White House correspondent since 2008, and Jim Acosta, who has been a national political correspondent, will both serve as senior White House correspondents. Rene Marsh, previously a CNN Newsource reporter, will now work as an aviation and government regulation correspondent.

Atlantic Broadband named Heather McCallion as VP of programming and Leslie Brown as senior VP and general counsel, the company announced on Aug. 20. McCallion, who previously served as VP of field, sales & marketing for NBCUniversal, will supervise deal negotiation, implementation and compliance. Brown, formerly VP and deputy general counsel for Lightower Fiber Networks, will oversee the company’s legal, governmental and regulatory affairs.

Bob Baskerville has been named CIO of Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., the company  announced on Aug. 19. Baskerville, who currently works as the company’s COO for international business, has been with Scripps for nearly 20 years and helped launch the company’s HGTV. He will take over for current CIO Ron Johnson, who announced he plans to retire at the end of the year. In his new role, Baskerville will report to executive VP and CTO Mark Hale and will oversee all of the company’s information technology operations.

Bravo Media announced on Aug. 19 that Leslie Farrell and Jeff Oliver will join the network’s production team. Both Farrell and Oliver will serve as VPs of current production and will report to Shari Levine, senior VP of current production/original programming. Farrell worked as a series producer and producer/director for African American Lives, a four-hour documentary that looked at Black history through DNA and genealogy. In addition, Farrell helped create documentaries for HBO. Oliver was previously a Food Network executive and producer.

Lee Thompson Young, 29, died on Aug. 19 from an apparent suicide. Young, who was costarring in TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, was found Monday morning in Los Angeles. The actor had appeared in the films Friday Night Lights and The Famous Jett Jackson.

Gary Knell has been tapped as the next president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, the company announced on Aug. 19. Knell has headed NPR since 2011 but his two-year contract with the company is set to expire in November. He will replace NPR president Vivian Schiller who resigned.

MAVTV American Real named Steve Grein, Ed Niemi and Mark Mitchell to executive roles. Grein, the former president and executive producer of NewWave Media Productions, Inc, will serve as executive producer and assistant to the company’s president Bob Patison. Niemi, has worked as VP of affiliate relations and distribution for the past seven years ad SportsTime Ohio, will join the company as VP of distribution. Mitchell, who comes to MAVTV from Speed/Fox Sports Media Group, will work as VP of sales, marketing and business development.

PESA named on Aug. 19 Christopher Thomas senior VP of engineering and CTO.
Thomas comes to PESA, a custom design and manufacturing company for professional audio and video signal distribution, from senior executive management positions at Avocent, Maxvision and Intergraph. In his new role, he will be responsible for hardware and software engineering projects at the company.

Andy Heller has been tapped to join the Starz board of directors, the network said on Aug. 19. Heller, who previously was a vice chairman at Turner Broadcasting System, is also a director of Arris Enterprises and a consultant for MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings.

Stephanie Fontana and Ben Murray will join Halfire-CORE Entertainment in executive roles, the company announced on Aug. 16. Fontana, who was named director of development and production, will oversee development for the company out of Halfire-CORE’s Los Angeles office. Previously, Fontana worked 18 years in television development and production. Murray, who recently worked as director of business affairs and development at Serendipity Point Films, was named director of business at the company. Halfire-CORE is a Canadian television production and financing company.

Michael Thornton has been promoted to CRO at Starz, the company said on Aug. 16. In the newly created role, Thornton, who previously served as executive VP of acquisitions, business and legal affairs, will oversee Starz’ network sales, affiliate marketing group and distribution businesses. He will now report to Starz President Glenn Curtis. The network also announced that Ed Huguez  will leave the company in 2014. Huguez is president of affiliate distribution.

Shed Media named on Aug. 16 Dan Snook as senior VP of development and Dave Kuba as VP of development for the company’s U.S. branch. Snook comes to Shed Media from Firecracker Films where he served as senior VP of development. Kuba previously worked as senior director of development of High Noon Entertainment. Shed Media is majority-owned by Warner Bros. International Television Production.

Timothy Kring and Thomas F. Lesinski will join Sonar Entertainment’s board of directors, the company announced on Aug. 15. Kring has worked as an executive producer and writer for multiple series, including Touch, Heroes and Crossing Jordan. Lesinski served as president of Paramount Digital Entertainment from 2006-2011.

ESPN announced on Aug. 15 that Sara Gotfredson will be VP of West Coast multimedia sales. Gotfredson has worked for ESPN for eight years and most recently served as senior director of multimedia national sales.

Jason DeMarco was promoted to VP and creative director, on-air, for Adult Swim, the company announced on Aug. 15. DeMarco previously worked as VP of marketing and promotions for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. In his new role, he will report Mike Lazzo, executive VP and creative director of Adult Swim, and will oversee all promotion, packaging, sponsorship and on-air communication.

Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Myers will host The Ad Council’s 60th Annual Public Service Award Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City on Nov. 20, the organization announced on Aug. 14. Myers is set to replace Jimmy Fallon as host of NBC’s Late Night. Fallon is taking over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno.

ESPN announced on Aug. 14 that it will work with director Peter Berg to to revamp the open to Monday Night Football. Berg directed both the big screen and small screen adaptations of Friday Night Lights. He also directed ESPN’s first 30 for 30 documentary Kings Ransom. The made-over open is set to debut on Sept. 9 during Monday Night Football’s first season broadcast.

NFL Media has tapped Mike Silver to to contribute to the network on multiple programs, the  company announced on Aug. 14. Silver, who previously worked as a Yahoo Sports columnist, has made guest appearances on the NFL Network before on NFL Total Access and NFL AM.

Jonathan Anschell has been promoted to head of CBS Program Practices, the company announced on Aug. 14. Anschell, who served as counsel of CBS TV and deputy general counsel of CBS Corp., will replace retiring Marty Franks. In his new role, Anschell will oversee entertainment content and commercial messages, ensuring that they are meet the company’s standards. He will report to CBS President Leslie Moonves. Matthew Margo and Lorraine Van Lowe, who lead program practices on the East and West Coasts, respectively, will report to Anschell after a transition period.

Dan Lieberman has been tapped to join Fusion, the joint venture between Disney-ABC Television Group and Univision, as a daytime anchor, correspondent and producer, the network announced on Aug. 14. Lieberman previously worked as part of Nightline and ABC News’ investigative unit. He is scheduled to start at the Latino-geared network on Sept. 3.

Deborah Oppenheimer has been named executive VP of Carnival Films, the production company announced on Aug. 14. In her new role, Oppenheimer will oversee new scripted series as well as Downton Abbey, focusing on the company’s growth. She has supervised NBCU International Television Production - Carnival is one of NBCU’s labels - for the past three years.

National Geographic Television announced on Aug. 14 that Tim Pastore will join NGT as executive VP of programming and development. Pastore, who will report to NGT President Brooke Runnette, previously worked as VP of factual production and programming at BBC Worldwide Productions.

Karla Loor Kitchel will join the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation as director of strategic partnerships and marketing, the organization announced on Aug. 14.
Kitchel will oversee marketing and funding as well as manage fundraising events, including the College Television Awards Gala and Celebrity Golf Tournament. Most recently, Kitchel served as director of development at Rolling Hills Preparatory School.

Entercom promoted eight VPs on Aug. 14, including six VPs of sales and two VPs of operations.
The VPs of sales are: Pat Galloway (New Orleans, La.), Mike Johnson (Rochester, N.Y.), Joby Koren (Denver, Colo.), Roxanne Marati (Denver, Colo.), Lisa Powell (Greensboro, N.C.), Kristen Kelleher-Wong (Sacramento, Calif.). The VPs of operations are: Brian Kelly (Millwaukee, Wis.) and Brian Douglas (Greensboro, N.C.).

FishBowl Worldwide Media upped on Beth Greenwald to president of creative affairs, Paul Lapointe to executive VP and COO, Kelly Nash to VP of development, and Lisa Black to executive VP of content and business development, the company announced on Aug. 14. Kevin Bloom, who joins the company from Stone & Company Entertainment, was named head of production.