Fates Roundup, Jan. 21, 2014

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

Katherine Payne will join Suddenlink as senior VP and chief programming officer on Feb. 24, the company announced on Jan. 21. Payne, who previously worked at Cox, will takeover Patricia McCaskill’s role, who is set to retire. In her new role, Payne will report to Suddenlink executive VP and chief financial officer Mary Meduski.

Former B&C editor-in-chief Ben Grossman announced that he will be stepping down from his post as head of global operations for Twitter’s media unit. Grossman left B&C for Twitter in 2012. At Twitter, he launched media.twitter.com and built the tech company’s media group. Twitter’s head of product Michael Sippey also is leaving the company. Sippey made his decision public last week. Both departures come about two and a half months after Twitter went public.

Dave Davis has been upped to chief operating officer at Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., the company announced on Jan. 21. Davis, who will continue to serve as the company’s chief financial officer, will now oversee operations, including administrative tasks and the company’s shared services. He joined the company in November 2012.

Rose Einstein has been named head of advertising sales and business development for The Television Academy's emmy magazine. Einstein, who is the founder of media sales firm Rose Einstein and Associates, will oversee all ad sales and strategic partnerships for the magazine as well as sales for The Academy's other print publications. She previously held exec positions at Nielsen Business Media, Netflix and Variety.

CBS made a number of  senior ad sales executive moves on Jan. 17. The appointments include: Linda Rene  as executive VP, heading primetime sales and innovation; Dean Kaplan as executive VP; Cristin DeVries as VP of branded entertainment and media innovation with a focus on primetime; and Antoinette Clarke as VP of branded entertainment and media innovation with a focus on daytime.

Susie Kricena has been upped to senior VP of programming acquisitions at Comedy Central. Kricena, who joined the network in 1999, reports to David Bernath, executive VP of programming and multiplatform strategy. She will continue to manage all of the net’s program acquisitions.

John Berman and Michaela Pereira will coanchor the 11 a.m. news hour on CNN, the network announced on Jan. 17. Berman will continue to anchor Early Start, while Pereira will continue to host New Day. Suzanne Malveaux will serve as the news net’s national correspondent, reporting on politics, national news and international current events.

Don Corsini has added oversight of Tribune’s KSWB San Diego station to his roster of duties, it was announced on Jan. 16. Corsini serves as president and general manager of Tribune’s KTLA Los Angeles. KSWB’s general manager Ray Schonbak passed away on Nov. 20. Corsini, who has helmed KTLA since January 2009, signed a multiyear contract extension.

Lee Meredith has joined WAFB-WBXH Baton Rouge as general manager, leaving his VP and GM post at WMC Memphis. Meredith will succeed Sandy Breland, who departed the CBS-MyNetworkTV duopoly for WVUE New Orleans. WAFB-WBXH and WMC are owned by Raycom.

Gene Kimmelman has been appointed president and CEO of Public Knowledge, it was announced on Jan. 16. The longtime consumer advocate succeeds Gigi Sohn, who left the post for the top aitde position with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. He most recently served as director of the Internet Freedom and Human Rights project at the New America Foundation.

Longtime ABC executive Mark H. Cohen died on Dec. 31, 2013, the company announced on Jan. 16. He was 81. Cohen spent 30 years at the company before stepping down in 1988. Before his retirement, he served as executive VP of ABC. Cohen also worked in executive roles at the International Radio and Television Society and the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Blair Westlake has stepped down from his position as corporate VP of Microsoft’s Media and Entertainment Group, it was confirmed on Jan. 15. His departure comes as the company undergoes a reorganization. A replacement has not been named.

Univision Chairman Haim Saban will headline the 2014 NAB Show opening, the National Association of Broadcasters announced on Jan. 15. Saban will participate in a Q&A on April 7 to kick off the annual convention. The session will be moderated by NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith.

Thomas Moody has been elevated to senior VP of programming, planning and acquisitions at FYI and LMN, A+E Networks announced on Jan. 15. The company also upped Laura Fleury to VP of programming and development at LMN. Moody most recently oversaw scheduling and acquisition strategies for A&E and BIO, while Fleury previously worked as executive producer for A&E shows.

Susan Fisenne has been tapped on Jan. 15 as confidential assistant to FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly. Fisenne had been acting confidential assistant since November and has been with the FCC since 2005.

Jeffrey Neumann has been hired as acting legal advisor for wireless, public safety and disability issues for FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. Neumann had previously served in the engineering division of the Media Bureau. He succeeds Courtney Reinhard, who moves to the office of fellow commissioner Michael O’Rielly.

JB Perrette has been named president of Discovery Networks International, the company announced on Jan. 15. Perrette, who most recently served as Discovery’s chief digital officer, succeeds Mark Hollinger, who is stepping down in June. Sean Atkins will serve as interim chief digital officer until a replacement has been found.

Crown Media Family Networks has promoted Kristen Roberts and expanded the roles of Susanne McAvoy and Michelle Vicary, the company announced on Jan. 15. Roberts has been upped to executive VP of pricing, planning and revenue management and will report to Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Crown Media. McAvoy has been tapped as executive VP of marketing, creative and communications, leading Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel’s social media marketing strategies. Vicary has been appointed executive VP of programming and network publicity.

Joe Johns has been upped to senior Washington correspondent at CNN, it was announced on Jan. 15. Johns, who has been with CNN for 10 years, previously  served as a senior correspondent for the Supreme Court and criminal justice for the news net. He also worked as a senior correspondent on current and political events.

Chris Mittman has been tapped as VP, director of digital at Spark, the Chicago-based media company announced on Jan. 15. Mittman most recently served as senior account executive of online retail at Google. In his role at Spark, he will oversee digital strategy for the company’s clients and will report to Shelby Saville, executive VP and managing director.

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.