Fates Roundup, Oct. 14, 2014

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

The Television Academy have announced the recipients of the 66th Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers will receive the Philo T. Farnsworth Award, while Laurence J. Thorpe will be honored with the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michael Dimock is the newest president of the Pew Research Center. Dimock, who had been executive VP, takes over for Alan Murray, who left for Fortune. Dimock has been with the Washington-based center for 14 years and, before that, a political science professor at NC State.

Crown Media Family Networks has tapped Josie Ventura as VP, digital, the company announced Oct. 14. Based in Studio City, Calif., Ventura will report to Chad Harris, senior VP of business development, and supervise operations and web content development.

IFC has elevated Kevin Vitale to senior VP, brand marketing, effective immediately. Previously a VP, Vitale will be the network’s resident brand chief, taking charge of overall conception, creation and implementation of all brand creative, ensuring its consistency and helping to improve ratings and revenue.

Spike TV has upped Jennifer Savage to VP, brand marketing initiatives. Frank Tanki, executive VP, brand marketing and creative, made the announcement on Oct. 14. Savage will oversee all of Spike’s pro social initiatives, the process of key presentations and strategic marketing partnerships.

On Oct. 22, Penn State’s John Curley Center for Sports Journalism will hold a discussion on the use of the Washington football team’s “Redskins” name. Oneida Nation’s Ray Halbritter and The Washington Post’s Mike Wise will speak at “A Conversation About Nicknames or Not,” moderated by Curley Center director John Affleck.

The SAG-AFTRA national board gave its national executive director David White a new four-year contract. It also unanimously ratified a new three-year TV and basic cable animation agreement, which is retroactive to July 1, 2014 and includes an 8.7% pay raise compounded annually over the life of the contract.

Bill Lancaster will be the new VP, station manager and director of sales at Gannett’s WTLV-WJXX Jacksonville. Formerly the VP of sales at WFMY Greensboro, Lancaster is a 20-year Gannett veteran. In August, Rob Mennie was named president and general manager of the station, ABC and NBC affiliates.

Saturday Night Live alum Jan Hooks died on Oct. 9 in New York City. She was 57. Hooks, who starred on SNL from 1986-91, is perhaps best known for playing one of the Sweeney Sisters opposite Nora Dunn and impersonating Sinead O’Connor. TMZ reported that Hooks was suffering from a “serious illness.”

Sara Burns has been upped to VP of programming by Kevin Bennett, general manager of Investigation Discovery and American Heroes Channel. Effective immediately, Burns will be tasked with optimizing the networks’ program schedules while also supporting departments.

Destination America announced Oct. 9 that it had promoted Sara Helman to VP, development and production, and Caroline Perez to VP, production and development, for the network. They will report to general manager Marc Etkind and continue to supervise development in programming and production, respectively.

The Paley Center for Media announced the 10 new members to its Board of Trustees on Oct. 9. They include ION Media Networks chairman and CEO Brandon Burgess, A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Duboc, Univision president and CEO Randy Falco, Tribune Media Company president and CEO Peter Liguori and Gannett president and CEO Gracia C. Martore.

Global TV distribution and production company Dynamic Television announced on Oct. 9 three new hires: Gilda Demirtas will serve as VP sales in Munich, Jan Bennemann as VP co-productions and acquisitions in Berlin and Noel Manzano as director of operations and acquisitions in Los Angeles.

ABC10/KGTV tapped Joel Davis to station manager, effective Oct. 13. The news director at 10News since 2009, Davis also has experience as managing editor at WFTV in Orlando and news director at KFSN in Fresno and KBAK in Bakersfield.

National Geographic Channels U.S. and Fox Networks Group announced the appointment of Julia K. Rao as chief financial officer for the networks. Rao, who will be based in National Geographic’s Washington D.C. offices, will be tasked with supervising the domestic National Geographic Channels’ financial functions.

Jim Packer and Ron Schwartz have been elevated at Lionsgate, the company announced Oct. 9. Packer will remain president of worldwide television and digital distribution, while Schwartz will take on the new title as president of Lionsgate home entertainment. They will be co-heads of home entertainment at Lionsgate.

President Barack Obama has nominated Michael O’Rielly, the Republican FCC commissioner, to a full five-year term on the commission. His nomination is expected to be confirmed, since he has already been vetted and voted by the Senate. O’Rielly has been filling the unexpired term of former commissioner Robert McDowell.

Justin Che will take on the new role of managing director, international television, Asia Pacific, NBCUniversal International Television announced Oct. 9. From Singapore office, Che will guide the company’s TV business across the region, supervising content distribution and channels.

UK-based distributor Banijay International has named Emmanuelle Namiech as managing editor, Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti announced Oct. 9. Namiech, who has led the company’s content acquisitions drive for the past six months, will help Banijay deliver strength and experience in finished programming acquisitions and sales.

Rovi has welcomed Kathy Weidman as senior VP and general manager, metadata. Weidman will report to John Burke, executive VP and COO of the interactive programming guide and video navigation company.

The Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers announced Oct. 9 that it has elected new officers and governors for 2015-16. The new president, taking over on Jan. 1, 2015,  will be Robert Seidel, CBS’ VP of engineering and advanced technology. Ericsson’s Matthew S. Goldman will be the executive VP. Dolby’s Patrick Griffis will continue to serve as education VP. BroadStream Solutions’ Peter Wharton will continue as secretary/treasurer.

Vivian Schiller is stepping down as head of news at Twitter less than a year after leaving NBC Universal for the post at the social media company. Schiller said she is departing so that new global media head Katie Stanton can reorganize the department. Schiller will be replaced by Adam Sharp, who runs Twitter’s government team.

Fairfield University is honoring legendary college basketball broadcasters Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery with the second annual “Stags Lifetime Achievement Award: Leader of the Herd.” Lundquist, a play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports, and his on-air partner Raftery will receive the award on Oct. 22 in New York City.

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) has elected Paul Karpowicz as chairman of the board of directors. Karpowicz, most recently the board’s vice chair, is president of the Meredith Local Media. Beasley Broadcast Group’s Caroline Beasley and Cox Media Group’s Bill Hoffman were newly elected to the board.

The Telecommunications Industry Association has appointed Scott Belcher as CEO. Belcher, previously the president of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, starts in the new position on Nov. 9. Grant Seiffert, the president, will report to Belcher.

Bravo Media has upped Robert Mancini to VP, content, Bravo Digital. In the new position, Mancini, who joined Bravo as editorial director in 2010 and helped the digital team launch The Real Housewives Awards, will be responsible for creation of content on Bravo’s digital platforms.

Karey Burke has joined ABC Family as executive VP of programming and development. Burke was previously an executive at NBC where she oversaw The West Wing, Friends and ER. She effectively replaces Kate Juergens, the executive VP and later chief creative officer who departed in July.

Fox Networks Group is expanding the duties of Claudia Teran, the current executive VP and general counsel at FNG, to include the title general counsel at Fox Sports, the company announced Oct. 8. Teran’s new responsibilities will include dealing with global businesses and legal affairs for Fox Sports.

The Cable Center announced on Oct. 8 the six members of its Cable Hall of Fame Class of 2015. They are ESPN’s Chris Berman, former MTV CEO Bill Roedy, Patriot Media and Communications chairman Steve Simmons, former TCI COO JC Sparkman, Comcast Cable’s Tony Werner and NCTA VP Eleanor Winter.

Faroudja Enterprises announced Oct. 8 the hiring of Bill Herz as chief operating officer and VP of business development. Herz has 25 years of experience in the industry as an innovator in video, multimedia, visual computing and consumer electronics technology.

Legendary Entertainment has named Deborah Kaufmann VP, literary affairs. The accomplished publishing and literary executive will be based in New York City and tasked with finding book adaptation opportunities for Legendary’s film, television and digital platforms.