Fates Roundup, Feb 10, 2015

Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

Jon Stewart announced during the taping of the Feb. 10 episode of The Daily Show that he will retire from the late-night talk show. Studio audience members immediately started tweeting the news. Comedy Central confirmed that Stewart, who has hosted the show since 1999, will remain in the role until later this year, when his contract is set to expire.

NBCUniversal cabler E! is combining its online and TV news operations into a single unit, led by executive VP, news and digital John Najarian. The move, the most recent company to bridge its digital and linear operations, is the latest restructuring within NBCU.

CNN has elevated John Antonio to VP of dayside programming at Atlanta’s CNN/U.S. Previously the director of programming for CNN/U.S., Antonio takes over for Janelle Rodriguez, who departed at the end of 2014 to join NBC. CNN chief Jeff Zucker made the announcement on Feb. 10.

Sound Devices announced Feb. 10 the hiring of Brandi Loyd as marketing project manager. Loyd, who has nearly two decades of experience in marketing and technical writing, will oversee the marketing team and lead a number of projects for the company, which specializes in audio and video products for broadcast and film production.

In expanding its Los Angeles-based development team, Atlas Media has announced three staffing changes. Andrew Jacobs has been elevated to VP, development, West Coast. In addition, Jeramiah Kraus was hired as director of development, West Coast, while Mark Dalbis will serve as manager of casting, West Coast.

Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) announced expanded roles for Kevin Conroy and Isaac Lee. Conroy had been upped  to chief strategy and data officer and president, enterprise development for UCI, while Lee is the new  UCI president of news and digital and Fusion CEO.

NAMIC on Feb. 9 tapped Daija Arias as its VP of marketing and development. Arias, who previously was a senior manager at Fox Networks, Universal, Telemundo and MGM Networks Latin America, will be tasked with creating and achieving marketing and sales strategies.

Sports broadcast pioneer Ed Sabol died at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 98. Sabol, who founded NFL Films in 1964, developed the use of microphones on coaches, referees and players in addition to adding popular music to game footage and blooper reels and much more.

Fox announced Feb. 9 that it had promoted Missy Halperin to executive VP of talent relations. Formerly a senior VP, Halperin will continue supervising talent involvement in marketing and charitable events, corporate initiatives and cross-network programming.

Spike TV has selected former ESPN host and anchor Dana Jacobson to host its upcoming Premier Boxing Champions series. The first event, premiering March 13 at 9 p.m., features matchups between Andre Berto and Josesito Lopez as well as Shawn Porter and Robert Garcia.

Viacom has upped Tom Gorke to executive VP, sales and business development for Viacom Media Network and BET Networks. Gorke, previously the senior VP of content distribution and marketing for Viacom Media Networks, will have responsibility in sales and new business efforts for distribution partnerships.

American Bar Association has elected Wiley Rein partner and media practice cochair Kathleen Kirby to board of its Forum on Communications Law. The forum updates the association on legal issues in regard to FCC regulation, speech issues and data collection.

ABC confirmed Feb. 6 that Rosie O’Donnell will be leaving her chair on The View. O’Donnell, whose last day as cohost will be this week, is leaving to spend more time with her family, following a split from her wife Michelle Rounds.

Def Pictures Television has named Simone Reyes director of television development. Reyes, who formerly was executive assistant to Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, will develop scripted and unscripted programming as well as cobranded broadcast and cable programming in coordination with All Def Digital.

Marketing and PR agency firm Dundee Hills Group has made staff changes as part of its corporate restructuring. Neil Howman has been named managing director of 202 Communications, while Carolyn Archambault will lead Wall Street Communications as its new general manager.

ABC Family has chosen Kary McHoul to be its senior VP of programming and development. The network made the announcement Feb. 6. McHoul, who previously served as a Fox executive and cofounded Nigel Lythgoe Productions, will report to Karey Burke, ABC Family’s executive VP, programming and development.

Raycom has appointed three new news content directors. WTOL Toledo assistant news director Bari Soash has been elevated to WALB Albany’s top spot. WFIE Evansville assistant news director Josh White will go to KAIT in Arkansas, while WCTI New Bern assistant news director Ashley Talley is headed to WMBF Myrtle Beach.

Gregg Seibert has been tapped as vice chairman of AMC Networks and the Madison Square Garden Company, both owned by Cablevision’s Dolan family. Seibert, who will also remain in his role as vice chairman of Cablevision, will provide advice on corporate strategy and work with both companies’ executive teams. Cablevision Systems Corp. announced that president Brian Sweeney will take over for Seibert as chief financial officer. Sweeney, who has been with the company for more than 20 years, starts March 1.

Rece Davis will be the new host of College GameDay, as the ESPN host signed a new multiyear deal through 2021. Davis, who will depart from the Thursday night ESPN College Football Primetime booth, takes over for Chris Fowler, who had hosted GameDay since 1990 and will remain as the network’s top play-by-play announcer.

Fox International Channels (FIC) announced the hiring of Jeff Ford as managing director of FIC UK. Ford, who will begin in April, will oversee the growth and development of the UK channel business, including Fox, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD and Baby TV.

Independent media services and post-production house TVT announced the appointment of Ian Brotherston as CEO. Brotherston, previously Ericsson’s head of the broadcast services business in the UK, will be based at the company’s West London headquarters as well as join the company’s board of directions.

Data analytics solutions provider Guavus, Inc. announced Feb. 5 that Gabriele Di Piazza and David Nicholas have joined the company, respectively, as senior VP, marketing, and senior VP sales, cable and media. Di Piazza previously was general manager of Hewlett-Packard marketing optimization.

Bunim/Murray announced Feb. 5 that it had promoted John Greco to senior VP of production and Noah Solomon to senior VP of business and legal affairs. The pair had been serving as VPs. In addition, Mark Lebowitz, the company’s chief financial officer, will now oversee the IT department.

Brian Balthazar will return home to HGTV after finishing his responsibilities as coexecutive producer of The View. Balthazar will serve as VP of programming beginning in March at the home and lifestyle network, where he previously worked before leaving in 2013.

Delivery Agent has appointed Jim Peters as president and CEO. Peters, a member of the Delivery Agent board, has more than 19 years of commerce experience, including executive stints at Ross Stores, Office Depot and Staples.

The Walt Disney Co. has an heir apparent to CEO Bob Iger in Thomas Staggs, who is the new chief operating officer. He has been with the Disney for 25 years and also serves as chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He will stay in that role until a successor is named.

Amy Pascal is stepping down from her roles as cochairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and chairman of SPE Motion Picture Group. The announcement comes after Sony was hacked, releasing leaked emails, salaries and other confidential information, before the premiere of the film The Interview.

ViXS Systems announced Feb. 5 that Sally Daub, the CEO, president and cofounder, had stepped down, effective immediately. The company, which makes video processing chips and multimedia for Coax Alliance technologies, upped COO Hugh Chow to interim president and CEO.

T3Media has added Mark Pougnet as chief operating officer and chief financial officer. The company, which specializing in title management, delivery and monetization serviced for media and entertainment companies, made the announcement Feb. 5. Harris Morris became CEO of T3Media in September 2014.

ITV Studios America has named Lucienne Papon senior VP, scripted television, the company announced Feb. 4. Papon, who previously served as head of development and production for Martin Campbell Productions, will be tasked with developing ITV Studios America’s scripted lineup and implementing its programs.

The Weather Channel announced the promotion of Brittany Smith to senior VP of distribution. In her four years at Weather, Smith has worked with the company’s largest distribution partners.

BBC America has appointed Nena Rodrigue as executive VP, original programming, acquisitions and production. Rodrigue, previously senior VP, programming and productions at SundanceTV, will supervise all of BBC America’s development, original productions, co-productions and acquisitions.

Pace has elevated Bruce Gureck to chief strategy officer. Gureck, who had been senior VP of engineering, Americas, will work on R&D and M&A activity, progress with market trends and diversify business for the U.K. company, which makes set-tops and broadband access gear.

Television and film writer and producer Robert Blees died Jan. 31 at his daughter’s home in Menlo Park, Calif. He was 96. A longtime board member of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, Blees’ writing credits include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Peter Gunn, Climax! and Bus Stop.