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Fates Roundup, Aug. 12, 2014

Simulmedia has upped Julie Nolan to chief people officer, the audience-targeted TV advertising company announced Aug. 12. The company’s VP, administration & human resources since 2009, Nolan will report to CEO Dave Morgan in the newly created role.

Prem Kamath has been appointed deputy managing director, Asia-Pacific, of A+E Networks, announced Alan Hodges, managing director, Asia-Pacific, on Aug. 12. Kamath, who will be based in Singapore, will be tasked with helping to come up with strategies for the network’s business portfolio as well as its financial, commercial and operational functions.

The Daily Buzz has added Jared Cotter and Kristen Aldridge to its roster. Cotter, a finalist in the sixth season of American Idol, will serve as co-host of the syndicated morning news program, while Aldridge, formerly a host on omg! Yahoo and later on its TV incarnation, omg! Insider, is the new co-anchor.

SundanceTV has elevated Rob Friedman to senior VP, programming and scheduling, the network announced Aug. 12. Formerly VP of programming and scheduling, Friedman will supervise SundanceTV’s linear and nonlinear strategic planning and scheduling.

Venerable actor and comedian Robin Williams died Aug. 11 at his home in Tiburon, Calif. in an apparent suicide. Williams was 63. An Emmy and Oscar winner, Williams made his name known on the sitcom Mork & Mindy and stand-up specials before starring in numerous popular and critically acclaimed films, such as Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poet’s Society and Good Will Hunting.

NCC Media has promoted Kristin Albrecht to director of sales in its New York office, the company announced Aug. 11. She will report to Scott Breier, regional VP, Northeast, for the ad sales, marketing and technology organization.

El Rey has welcomed Skip Chaisson to the network as its new VP, Creative & On-Air Promotion. Chaisson, the founder of Skip Film production company, will report to El Rey’s founder and chairman Robert Rodriguez and vice chair Scott Sassa.

Sonar Entertainment has added two new executives to the company, CEO Gene Stein announced Aug. 11. Peter Keramidas, a former VP at Warner Bros. Studies, will serve as executive VP, planning, strategy and administration. Jenna Glazier, previously an executive VP at Showtime, will be senior VP, television series.

Starcom USA has hired Dan Mitz as VP, director of deliver practice, the media communication agency announced Aug. 11. In the role Mitz, previously at Initiative, New York, will have a hand in negotiating, problem-solving and coming up with innovative ideas for the Allstate and Esurance accounts in the Chicago office.

Dotty Lynch died of cancer Aug. 10 in Washington. She was 67. Between 1985 to 2005, Lynch was senior political editor for CBS News, where she remained as a contributor and an election night consultant through 2012.

Brian Murray has joined Wilkinson Barker Knauer as a partner. Murray, previously a partner in the communications practice of Latham & Watkins in Washington, will continue his emphasis on media and telecom regulation.

Soccer personalities Michael Davies and Roger Bennett have relocated, taking their popular Men in Blazers show to NBC Sports. Formerly at ESPN and Grantland, the pair’s move comes just in time for the start of the 2014-15 Premier League season.

Phil Argyris will take over as CEO of GatesAir on Aug. 20. Argyris joins the company, which supplies technology used for over-the-air TV and radio broadcasting, with 30 years of experience, including time as a general manager at Harris Broadcast.

Smokey the Bear turned 70 with a celebration by the Ad Council on Aug. 9. Smokey’s media public service campaign is the longest-running in U.S. history, according to the Council, and wildfires only burn 6.7 million acres annually today, down from 22 million in 1944.

Amy DuBois Barnett has been named executive editor of Jason Whitlock’s upcoming ESPN site, ESPN Digital & Print Media announced Aug. 8. Barnett, the editor-in-chief of Ebony, will oversee editorial operations for the sports and culture site, which is aimed at an African-American audience, and report to Whitlock, the founder and editor-in-chief.

FX Design Group has announced its hiring of two new designers, giving the Ocoee, Fla. company a creative design team of 10. They are Erin Lartonoix, a graphic designer and illustrator since 1990 who has worked for White House Communications and Walt Disney World among others, and Hanadi Al-Hajjar, a Baghdad native with a passion for striking designs.

Univision Communications has elevated Kevin Cuddihy and Jessica Rodriguez to new executive roles, the media company announced Aug. 7. Cuddihy, previously the president of the Univision Television Group, will serve as president of local media, while Rodriguez, formerly the executive VP of program scheduling and promotions, will be chief marketing officer.

WBZ Boston, the CBS-owned TV station in DMA No. 7, has named Gary LaPlante as its new news director. LaPlante, the assistant news director at WFXT Boston, will start his new role on Aug. 11.

Bill Wolff is set to replace Bill Geddie as executive producer of The View. Wolff, executive producer of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and the network’s VP of primetime programming, joins the long-running show that just lost Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd. Geddie had been executive producer of the show since he created it with Barbara Walters in 1997.

Syfy has named Heather Olander as senior VP, alternative sales development and production. Olander, who had been senior VP of alternative development and production at USA, Syfy’s sister network, will hold both roles until transitioning to Syfy full time early next year. She will report to Bill McGoldrick, executive VP of original content for the network.

Microsoft has tapped Kate Cyrul Frischmann as senior public relations manager in its Washington office. Frischmann had been communications director for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who is not seeking a 2014 reelection bid. Before that, Frischmann served the same role for Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

Sinclair’s WICS Springfield (Ill.) has chosen Rick Lipps to serve as general manager. Formerly general manager of Media General-owned WCBD Charleston, Lipps will supervise sales and non-programming matters for WBUI (CW) and WRSP (Fox).

Amid rumors of scuttling a proposed $32 billion merger with T-Mobile, Sprint confirmed Aug. 6 its appointment of Marcelo Claure as president and CEO, effective Aug. 11. Claure, 43, a Sprint board member since January, was founder and CEO of Brightstar Corp. He takes over for Dan Hesse, Sprint’s president and CEO since December 2007.

Alex Collins has been tapped to serve as Asia-Pacific sales director at Wohler Technology, the company announced Aug. 6. Collins, previously the sales and marketing director at Megahertz Ltd., will be tasked with increasing awareness and adoption of Wohler’s RadiantGrid Intelligent Media Transformation Platform in the region.

Glenn Valenta, chief engineer at AXS TV/HDNet, died on July 28 at his home in Denver after a long battle with cancer. He was 53. An HD TV pioneer, Valenta helped with the engineering for the first series of high definition MLB and NHL telecasts as well as the 2002 Olympics during his 14-year tenure at AXS.