Fates Roundup, Dec. 17, 2013

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

(Pictured: Marc Buhaj, senior VP of programming and general manager of Disney XD)

Mark Marshall has been named senior VP of portfolio sales at NBCUniversal, the company announced on Dec. 17.Marshall, who will start in January, will helm sales for NBCU’s Chicago and Detroit offices. He recently served as senior VP and national sales manager for Turner Sports. Cherie Cohen, also senior VP of portfolio sales at NBCU, will have expanded responsibilities under the department’s reorganization. Cohen will now oversee the generation of cross-portfolio revenue on the West Coast.

Mary Schultz has been tapped USTelecom as director of marketing and events, it was announced on Dec. 17.Schultz recently worked as the communications manager for the Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project. USTelecom also promoted Kevin Rupy and Sarah Versaggi to VP positions.

Cameron Kerry has joined the Brookings Institution as a visiting fellow. Kerry, who is the younger brother of Secretary of State John Kerry, will focus on governance studies at Brookings. He is a former acting secretary and general counsel for the Department of Commerce.

Mike Aho has been appointed senior VP of factual entertainment at Shine America, the company announced on Dec. 17. Aho, who joins Shine from Collins Ave., will helm the development and production of docu-series at the company. He will report to Shine America President Eden Gaha. While at Collins Ave., Aho served as VP of factual programming, helming shows for the company such as Lifetime’s Dance Moms and E!’s Drama Queen.

Liz Bartolomeo is exiting her post as media director of the Sunlight Foundation, it was announced on Dec. 17. Bartolomeo will join Fenton in the communications firm’s Washington Office.

FCC Chairman Tom wheeler named on Dec. 17 Sara Morris acting director of the FCC’s office of legislative affairs. Morris succeeds Patrick Halley, who will be associate chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau. Before the FCC, Morris worked as a congressional affairs exec at the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration.

Katharine Linke has been upped to VP of multiplatform programming at Disney Channels U.S., the company announced on Dec. 17. Linke, who previously served as executive director of multi-platform programming, will oversee non-linear programming and scheduling strategy for Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. She joined the Mouse House in 2000.

Veteran Colorado broadcaster and journalist Jerry Fitch died on Dec. 16 in Scottsdale, Az. He was 95. Fitch and his wife Marcie Kostman, who passed away in 2007, operated KGLN Colorado Springs, CO. for more than 25 years. They acquired and operated Durango, CO. station KDGO from 1964 to 1985. Fitch helped found the Colorado Broadcasters Association and served as president of the organization twice. After selling KGLN, he and his wife became broadcasting consultants before retiring to Scottsdale.

HLN announced on Dec. 16 the hiring of several programming executives. The hires include Keith Brown as senior VP of programming, Kari Kim as VP of program development, and Adrienne Lopez as director of special projects. Brown and Kim will report to HLN executive VP and general manager Albie Hecht while Lopez will report to Brown.

Louis Libin has been appointed executive director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance. Libin, who formerly worked as director of engineering and CTO at NBC, will be ATBA’s first executive director. The organizations previously worked as a committee with volunteers.

Lata Pandya has been named associate producer of Pivot’s TakePart Live, the network and its partner Monster.com announced on Dec. 16. Pandya, who joins from ABC’s The Lookout where she served as an associate producer, will be responsible for pitching story ideas for the late-night news show as well as working with TakePart Live’s creative team. She will start at Pivot, Participant Media’s millennial minded net, on Jan. 6.

Dave Manney will join WXYZ Detroit as news director, it was announced on Dec. 16. Manney, who most recently served as managing editor of WNBC New York, will start on Jan. 6 at the Scripps station.

The Television Academy announced on Dec. 16 the 2014 inductees into its Hall of Fame. The honorees are Dolby Laboratory founder Ray Dolby, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, writer-producer David E. Kelley, late night host Jay Leno, Fox Broadcasting Company founder Rupert Murdoch and ABC Network exec Brandon Stoddard. The 23rd class will be feted on March 11, 2014 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Marc Buhaj has been tapped as Disney XD’s senior VP of programming and general manager, the network announced on Dec. 16. Buhaj will oversee programming for the net across all platforms in the U.S. as well as support the channel’s programming, content and development worldwide. The exec succeeds David Levine at the helm of Disney XD’s programming. Buhaj comes to the kids’ channel from Disney Television Animation, where he served as senior VP of international original series and co-productions. He joined the Mouse House in 2007.

Marco Bresaz has been named VP of unscripted programming at AMC, the network announced on Dec. 16. Bresaz, who most recently served as VP of original programming and development at Sundance Channel, will helm the net’s roster of unscripted shows, including Talking Dead, Comic Book Men, Small Town Security, Freakshow, and Game of Arms. He will replace Ari Mark, who left AMC last week for Xbox Entertainment Studios.

Netflix has appointed Jane Wiseman to head the company’s original programming, it was announced on Dec. 16. Wiseman, who most recently served as senior VP of comedy at Chernin Entertainment, will report to Cindy Holland, VP of original content at Netflix. She will also work alongside Netflix execs Peter Friedlander and Nina Wolarsky.

Dr. Mario Vecchi will join PBS as chief technology officer. Vecchi, who is set to start on Jan. 27, will report to Michael Jones, chief operating officer of PBS, and will oversee the network’s distribution operations and engineering, media management, interconnecting engineering, information technology, Web and new media applications/systems. He comes to PBS from consulting firm P&A Development, where he served as president.

Sandy Breland has been tapped as VP and general manager of WVUE New Orleans, it was announced on Dec. 13. Breland, who previously served as GM of WAFB Baton Rouge, will start Dec. 16, which is the same day Raycom begins providing operational services to WVUE. The New Orleans native will continue to oversee Raycom’s Louisiana stations as regional VP. Raycom’s area stations include WAFB, KSLA Shreveport and KPLC Lake Charles.

Mac McGarry, host of WRC-TV’s high school quiz show It’s Academic, died on Dec. 12. He was 87. McGarry had emceed the long-running show for 50 years before retiring in 2012.

ABC Family has appointed on Dec. 11 Tom Ascheim as its president. Ascheim, who has previously served as executive VP and general manager of Nickelodeon and CEO of Newsweek, replaces Michael Riley in ABC Family’s top spot, starting in the role immediately. He is also the founder and president of TEA Lane Media, a consulting firm. Riley left ABC Family in September.

Pivot has named Jennie Morris and Jerry Blake as senior VPs, the network announced Dec. 11. Morris, who joins the net from AMC/Sundance Channel Global, will serve as senior VP of acquisitions and operations, overseeing the expansion Pivot’s programming. Blake will helm the business side of the net, serving as the senior VP of business and legal affairs. Blake most recently worked at BBC Worldwide.

Jennifer Sabatelle has been promoted to senior VP of communications at CBS Sports, the company announced on Dec. 11. Sabatelle, who previously served as VP of the department, will continue to oversee all communications for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.

Alex Sanz is leaving his post as a government and politics reporter at WPTV- TV and WFLX-TV in South Florida. Sanz will join The Associated Press later this year, where he will cover the southeastern U.S., producing stories for broadcast, digital and mobile platforms. He will be based in Atlanta.

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.