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Fates Roundup, May 26, 2015

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

The Broadcast Television Journalists Association announced May 26 presenters for the Critics’ Choice Television Awards and the honorees for Most Exciting New Series. The presenters include Charlize Theron, Johnny Galecki, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson and Allison Janney. The honorees are American Crime Story, Aquarius, Blindspot, Minority Report, The Muppets, Scream Queens, Supergirl and UnREAL.

Kenneth Craig is joining CBS Newspath as a correspondent. Craig, who had been a general assignment reporter at WFTV-TV Orlando since 2011, will start June 15 at CBS’ 24-hour television newsgathering service for its stations and broadcasters worldwide.

The 24/7 Poker TV network Poker Central announced May 26 the hiring of Sid Eshleman and Dan Russell. Eshleman, previously senior VP, sales and marketing at Turner Broadcasting, will supervise domestic and international distribution across traditional and emerging platforms as chief distribution officer. Russell, who spent 26 years at Discovery Communications, will serve as senior VP, programming, supervising development of schedule, on-air promotion and program acquisitions.

NBC Universal has hired Denise Colella as senior VP, advanced advertising products and strategy in NBCU’s ad sales division. Colella, who had been CEO of digital ad tech company Maxifier, will supervise NBCU’s data-driven advanced advertising products. She will report to executive VP Krishan Bhatia.

Global PR firm Edelman has tapped Chris Allieri as executive VP of communications marketing. Allieri, who was previously Univision’s director, digital and corporate communications, will lead Edelman’s global marketing team, supervising and improving the company’s reputation, communications and marketing activities.

Advertising tech company Simulmedia announced May 26 the promotion of Peter Giordano to VP of marketing. Giordano, who had been VP of revenue operations and was previously senior director of revenue operations and analytics, will be tasked with creating Simulmedia’s brand message and facilitating all communications.

KREM-KSKN Spokane has promoted R.J. Merritt to president and general manager. Merritt, who had been director of sales at the Gannett Broadcasting duopoly, takes over for James Aitken, who left in late March for the VP/general manager position at Tribune’s KDAF Dallas.

Bill Evans has been elevated to VP and general manager of WSYR Syracuse. He had been the director of sales at the Nexstar-owned station. Evans, who first joined the ABC affiliate in 1996 as a local account executive, succeeds Theresa Underwood, who was promoted to senior VP and regional manager of Nexstar April 1.

Cristine Couldridge is the new general manager and general sales manager at WXTX Columbus, Ga. Couldridge joins the Raycom-operated American Spirit Media station from Midland, Texas, where she served as general sales manager at local NBC, Telemundo and CW affiliates KWES-KTLE-NWES.

WUPV Richmond has tapped Doug Sutton as general manager and general sales manager. Sutton was previously general manager of WHDF Huntsville, Ala., also a CW affiliate. He previously served as new business local sales manager at WBMA Birmingham and director of marketing and new business development at WLFL/WRDC Raleigh.

The Senate has confirmed Patricia Cahill to return as a member of the board of director for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Cahill was on the board from 2009 to 2014, serving as vice chair from 2011-12 and chair from 2012-14. The former KCUR-FM Kansas City general manager’s new term expires in 2020.

David Candelaria has joined KTSM El Paso as VP and general manager. He starts immediately at the Nexstar-owned NBC station, which has Estrella TV on its multicast tier. Candelaria was VP and general manager of Univision-UniMas duo KINT-KTFN El Paso for 17 years.

BBC Worldwide North America announced May 21 that president Herb Scannell is stepping down and COO Ann Sarnoff will take his place beginning Aug. 1. Scannell, the former vice chairman of MTV Networks and president of Nickelodeon Networks, has been with the company since 2010.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will honor HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler with the 2015 International Emmy Directorate Award in New York on Nov. 23. Plepler, who was named to the position in January 2013 after serving as copresident from 2007-12, supervises overall management of HBO.

Liberman Broadcasting, Inc. has hired Susan Malfa as executive VP national advertising sales and marketing for Estrella TV, its top-rated Spanish language TV network. Malfa previously supervised Bravo, Oxygen, Style, Sprout Media and Women as senior VP at NBCUniversal Lifestyle Group.

Visual Data Media Services announced May 20 the hiring of Simon Constable as VP of strategic accounts. Constable, previously Technicolor’s VP of worldwide operations, will supervise daily operations of the company’s large studio accounts. He will be based out of Visual Data’s L.A. headquarters.

Stephen Freifeld has been upped to VP and general manager of WJET Erie, Pa. Freifeld, who had been director of sales for the Nexstar station, will also supervise Mission Broadcasting’s WFXP under a joint operating agreement. Freifeld, who had stints at WCPX Orlando and WTXX Hartford-New Haven before WJET, begins immediately.

The Media Financial Management Association and its BCCA subsidiary honored Gannett VP of finance AlisonEngel with the Distinguished CFO Award. Engel is the first woman to win the award, which was presented at the annual Media Finance Focus 201 conference in Phoenix. Also at the conference, Media General director of credit and collections Robert Warner was recognized with the BCCA Contributor Award, while SESAC Inc. VP of broadcast and cable licensing received the Jack Zwaska Lifetime Achievement Award.

Alfonso Ribeiro will succeed Tom Bergeron as the next host of ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos. Ribeiro, an alum of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was the season 19 winner of Dancing with the Stars. He will debut as host when the ABC program returns for a 26th season this fall.

Bell Media named Stuart Garvie president, Bell Media sales, effective June 8.  The 18-year veteran of the media industry, who will lead the strategic director of Bell Media’s national ad sales, will take over for Mary Ann Turcke, who recently became president of Bell Media.