Fates Round Up, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013

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

Leftfield Pictures has tapped Ashley Adams as VP of production and has promoted Shawn Witt to VP of current programming, the company announced on Nov. 5. Adams comes to the company from Hoff Productions as VP of production. While at Leftfield, Witt has worked on History’s Counting Cars, CMT’s Guntucky and Science’s Oddities: San Francisco.

Mark Loughney has been appointed VP of research at TBS, Inc.’s animation, young adults and kids media division, the company announced on Nov. 5. Loughney, who served prior as VP of sales and strategy research for ABC Television Network, will report to Howard Shimmel, senior VP of ad sales and sports research at TBS.

The Weather Company upped on Nov. 5 Jeremy Hlavacek as VP, programmatic. Hlavacek, who most recently worked as VP of operations and strategic partnerships at WeatherFX, will oversee all programmatic sales and operations at Weather. In the newly created position, he will report to Jeremy Steinberg, senior VP, digital ad sales. Before joining Weather earlier this year, he served as VP of strategy and  business operations at Varick Media Management.

Ray Suarez will host Al Jazeera America’s Inside Story, the news net announced on Nov. 4.  Suarez, who previously served as chief national correspondent for PBS NewsHour, will start the hosting gig at the “behind the headlines” daily program on Nov. 11.

Gigi Sohn will join the FCC as special counselor to new chairman Tom Wheeler, it was announced on Nov. 4. Sohn, who is currently president of Public Knowledge, was sworn in on Nov. 4 but will not actively serve until Nov. 8. VP Michael Weinberg and COO Brooke Hunter will serve as acting copresidents of Public Knowledge in Sohn’s absence. Wheeler also made a number of additional appointments on Nov. 4, including: Ruth Milkman as chief of staff; Philip Verveer as senior counselor to the chairman; Diane Cornell as special counsel; Daniel Alvarez as legal advisor for engineering and technology and wireless issues; Renee Gregory as legal advisor for engineering, technology, wireless and incentive auction issues; Maria Kirby as legal advisor for media, consumer and enforcement issues; Patrick Halley as acting director of the Office of Legislative Affairs; Deborah Ridley as confidential assistant to the chairman; Sagar Doshi as special assistant to the chairman; Jon Sallet as interim director of the Technology Transitions Policy Task Force and acting general counsel; Jon Wilkins as acting managing director and advisor to the chairman for management; and Roger Sherman as acting chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly was also sworn in on Nov. 4.

Artel Video Systems has tapped Philip Dubs as director of broadcast sales, the company announced on Nov. 4. Dubs spent the last 12 years at Pixelmetrix as VP of sales.

KLFY Lafayette VP and general manager Mike Barras will retire from his post at the end of the year, the station announced on Nov. 1. Barras, who has served as VP and GM at the Louisiana station since 2001, will continue on through June 2014 as a senior advisor to the CBS affiliate. A successor has not been named.

Tom O’Brien has been tapped as executive VP of digital media and chief revenue officer at Nexstar, the company announced on Nov. 1. O’Brien, who formerly served as president and GM of WNBC New York, will report to Perry Sook, chairman and CEO of Nexstar. Marc Montoya, who served as senior VP of internet media sales and operations, has left the company.

Leona Wood was upped to news director at KPHO-TV Phoenix, the CBS affiliate announced on Nov. 1. Wood had served as assistant news director for the past seven years.

Longtime marketing executive James Ronald “Ron” Castell died Oct. 31 from a rare neurodegenerative disease. He was 75. Castell worked at Warner Communications (now Time Warner), Blockbuster and Spelling Entertainment. He also served as senior VP of Huizenga Holdings.

TV Guide Network announced on Oct. 31 the hiring of two executives in marketing in sales. Nicole Sabatini will head marketing as senior VP where she will supervise all aspects of brand and marketing strategies at TVGN. Sabatini most recently worked as senior VP of marketing at Style Network. Beecher Scarlett has been tapped as VP of ad sales, where he will generate national as sales revenue for the network. Scarlett joins TVGN from NBC Universal as senior sales executive for USA Network.

Ron Darling will join the MLB Network as an offseason studio analyst, the net announced on Oct. 31. Darling, who won a World Series in 1986 pitching for the Mets, will debut on the network on Nov. 4 on MLB Tonight. The ball player began his broadcasting career in 2000 covering the Mets on SportsNet New York.

Sharon Hoffman has been promoted to executive producer for weekend news at CBS News, the net announced on Oct. 31. Hoffman, who previously worked as a senior producer for CBS This Morning, will now oversee CBS Evening News’ Saturday and Sunday editions.

CBS Outdoor announced Oct. 31 the hiring of Andrew Miller as VP of digital and mobile convergence for the company. Miller, who had been director at WPP’s Spafax Networks, will helm new products and partnerships at CBS Outdoor.

Suddenlink has tapped Robert Daleo as VP of sales and marketing for the company’s Atlantic Region, it was announced on Oct. 31. Daleo, who joins the company from Insight Communications as director of sales, will oversee all sales and marketing for Suddenlink.

Jill Offman was promoted to senior VP of comedy at Viacom International Media Networks. Offman will help Comedy Central, reporting to Bob Bakish, president and CEO of VIMN. She will continue to serve as senior VP and managing director of Comedy Central UK.

Cheryl Bloch was named on Oct. 30 senior VP of scripted programming at WE tv. Bloch, who recently served as a senior consultant for the network, will oversee all aspects of the scripted programming process, including scouting, developing and producing series. In the newly created position, she will report to Marc Juris, WE tv’s president and general manager.

Randy Rovegno was appointed on Oct. 30 VP of content distribution marketing at Ovation. Rovegno, who founded Longboard Marketing, will helm Ovation’s business-to-business communications as well as develop the net’s distributor marketing programs. He will report to Brad Samuels, executive VP of content distribution.

Malcolm Robinson will join Broadcast Networks as director of media & broadcast solutions, the company announced Oct. 29. Robinson comes to the company from Sony PSE where he served as general manager for Live Production Solutions.

Sylvia Hart has been tapped as VP/creative director of on-air promotion at NUVOtv, the network announced on Oct. 29. Hart, who comes from NBC Universal as VP of on-air promotion, will oversee all short-form video creation in addition to on-air promotion. She will report to Laura Masse, executive VP of marketing at the net.