Fates Roundup, Jan. 6, 2015

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

The NFL Network announced Jan. 6 that it had named Steven Graciano as VP of marketing. Graciano, formerly the VP of marketing and communications for Fox Deportes, will serve as a liaison for the NFL and NFL media group in addition to developing marketing strategy and executing marketing plans.

Nominations for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s Vanguard Awards have opened. The award, the NCTA’s highest honor, recognizes achievement in management, marketing, operations, programming and technology.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has elevated David Decker to executive VP of cable and SVOD sales. Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution president Jeffrey R. Schlesinger made the announcement on Jan. 6. Decker takes the place of Tom Cerio, who is set to retire from his executive duties in March but will stay on as a sales consultant.

Sinclair is searching for a national bureau chief to help expand the station group’s presence in D.C., according to a LinkedIn job posting from mid-December. Sinclair recently purchased the Allbritton station group, which has ABC affiliate WJLA in D.C. in addition to regional news network NewsChannel 8.

Fox Networks has upped executive Benjamin (BJ) Elias to senior VP, distribution. Elias, who has been at Fox since 2010, had been serving as VP, distribution, advanced services. He is tasked with leading the division’s distribution of new media services and products through websites, mobile apps, OTT and video-on-demand.

TV ad-serving platform FreeWheel has appointed Jack Rotherham as chief marketing officer. Rotherham, previously the general manager of RichRelevance, also served as president and SMO of media solutions company WMI Digital. As CMO at FreeWheel, Rotherham will be tasked with advancing branding, product positioning and sales.

WCNC-TV Charlotte announced Jan. 6 that Eugene Robinson will team with Colleen Odegaard to host Charlotte Today starting Jan. 7. Robinson, a broadcast analyst for the Carolina Panthers, is a three-time Pro Bowl player and member of the 1996 Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers

The Mark Gordon Company and Entertainment One announced Jan. 6 that that they had paired up to found a new independent television and film studio. Gordon will serve as CEO of the L.A.-based studio, which will finance and produce content across film, network, cable and digital properties, which eOne in turn will distribute internationally.

Scripps has tapped Bill Siegel as its director of news strategy, beginning Jan. 14. Siegel, who had been serving as executive news director at WWL New Orleans, began his career at KESQ Palm Springs and late worked as assistant news director at WISN Milwaukee.

KERO-KZKC Bakersfield general manager Steve Weinstein is moving to Cleveland to become VP and general manager of sister Scripps station WEWS on Jan. 12. Weinstein, who started as a photographer at Scripps over a decade ago, has also served as news operations manager at WMAR Baltimore and news director at KJRH Tulsa.

Wiley Rein has added Karl Nebbia to its communication practice as an independent consultant. The former associate administrator of the Office of Spectrum Management at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will counsel clients on spectrum policy, regulation and transactions.

Michael Riley, the president of ABC Family from 2010-13, is set to become KCETLink Media Group’s CEO, the fourth in its 50-year history. The independent public broadcasting and digital media network formed by the 2012 merger of KCET and Link TV.

KCBD Lubbock general sales manager Eric Duncan has been appointed VP and general manager of Raycom Media’s WSFA Montgomery, Ala. Duncan, who previously served as KVUE Austin’s sales manager, is taking over for Collin R. Gaston, who is leaving to become VP and general manager of Raycom Media’s WBRC Birmingham, Ala. Gaston, who started at WSFA in 2007, was promoted to VP and general manager of the station in 2011.

The Weather Channel announced Jan. 5 that Mary Glackin is joining the company as the first senior VP of public-private partnerships. Glackin, who had been serving as the American Meteorological Society’s commissioner of weather, water and climate enterprise, will support the company’s external relationships and partnerships

WVUE New Orleans VP and general manager Sandy Breland has been upped to Raycom Media group VP. KFVS-WQWQ in Cape Girardeau (Mo.) general manager Tim Ingram will take over for Breland atop WVUE. Replacing Ingram will be Dave Thomason, who had been serving as general sales manager at the stations.

ESPN has selected Aaron LaBerge to be executive VP and chief technology officer, the second in the network’s 35 years. LaBerge, taking over for Chuck Pagano, who announced last April that he would retire this February, will lead technology direction and strategy across all media and business.

Legendary ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died Jan. 4 after an eight-year battle with cancer. He was 49. Scott, who joined ESPN in 1993 and soon became one of the network’s most popular anchors, was known for his work on SportsCenter where his bevy of catch phrases became ingrained in the sports vernacular.

Deborah Taylor Tate has been tapped as director of the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts. Tate, the former Republican FCC commissioner, takes over for Bill Young, who will serve as associate chief deputy attorney general.

Longtime television director Larry Auerbach died Dec. 20. He was 91. In addition to directing soap opera Love of Life for 28 years, Auerbach directed All My Children and As the World Turns. He also served as National VP of the Directors Guild of America and sat on its national board.

Former KFOR-KAUT Oklahoma City general manager Jim Boyer died of cancer of the esophagus. He was 68. In announcing his retirement at the end of 2012, he wrote in an email to friends that “whatever fullness I have left, I'm not going to spend sitting behind a desk."

Emmy-winning actor Edward Herrmann died Dec. 31 in New York City after a year-long battle with a stage IV glioblastoma brain tumor. He was 71. Herrmann, whose guest starring role on The Practice earned him an Emmy, starred as Richard Gilmore throughout Gilmore Girls’ seven-season run.

Great Lake Data Systems founder Jose Alonzo “Lon” Rosado suffered a heart attack and died on Dec. 18  at his family’s vacation home in Yuma, Ariz. He was 70. Lon Rosado, who was elected into the Cable TV Pioneers in 2006, began his career in the 1970s with Warner Communications before starting GLDS in 1980.

Reality show producer Howard Schultz died unexpectedly Dec. 29 while on vacation in Hawaii. He was 61. Schultz, the creator of Extreme Makeover and numbers other reality TV shows, also served as CEO of Lighthearted Entertainment, the production company he founded in 1992.