Fates Roundup, Oct. 21, 2014

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

Ben Bradlee, the longtime Washington Post editor who presided over the paper’s exposure of the Watergate scandal, died on Oct. 21 of natural causes at his home in Washington. He was 93. During his tenure, the newspaper won 18 Pulitzer Prizes, including the Public Service award for the Watergate coverage which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

IFC announced Oct. 21 the promotion of Christine Lubrano to senior VP of original programming as well as the appointments of Maura Madden and Jeff Meyerson as VPs of original programming, based, respectively, in New York City and Los Angeles. Also hired was Sachi Ezura as director of original programming.

Alterna’TV has named Leonardo Pinto as marketing and distribution director for Latin America, the Miami Eutelsat Americas subsidiary announced Oct. 20. Pinto, who had been director of of distribution for BBC Worldwide channels, will be tasked with increasing penetration of channels distributed in Latin America.

Multimedia company Al Roker Entertainment Inc. has hired Maria Paone as VP, branded content. Paone will be tasked with creating and advancing brand and agency relationships as well as new initiatives in the entertainment space.

Chattanooga television and radio legend Luther Masingill died in his sleep Oct. 20. He was 92. An inaugural member of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame, Masingill began at WDEF radio in 1941, was on air for everything from the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

ABC News senior VP of communications Jeffrey Schneider is leaving the network to start his own PR firm.  His deputy, Julie Townsend, will take over his role as the network’s top communications executive. ABC News president James Goldston made the announcement Oct. 20.

Brand response advertising agency Hawthorne Direct has elevated John Pucci to chief marketing and creative officer. Pucci, who will remain in Hawthorne’s L.A. office, will be responsible for all of the agency’s marketing, publicity and promotional activities as he looks to increase its presence with brand marketers.

WUSF Public Media has upped Scott Nolan to development director. Nolan, who has more than a decade of broadcast industry and development experience, will supervise all of WUSF’s charitable giving programs and strategies. He will be tasked with finding new strategies for fundraising.

Spike TV has tapped Anhelo Reyes as VP, brand marketing and activation. Cedric Foster, who supervises Spike’s brand marketing, announced the news on Oct. 20. Reyes will be responsible for off-channel marketing for Spike’s brand and creating strategic, innovative and creative marketing plans.

Former Google executive has been nominated by the White House to be the next director of the U.S Patent & Trademark Office. Lee had essentially been heading the office as deputy director following the departure of David Kappos in 2013. Lee was Google’s deputy general counsel and head of patents and patent strategy from 2003-12.

Queen Latifah will host the Hollywood Film Awards on Nov. 14, set to air on CBS. It will be the inaugural telecast of the awards ceremony, which began in 1997. A live red carpet pre-show will be hosted by CBS This Morning anchors Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King.

Jeff Hasler has been tapped as executive VP of development and production for National Geographic Studios, the National Geographic Society’s division responsible for all TV, film and video production. Hasler will supervise development, pitching and production of series and specials for the channel.

Spike TV has promoted David Phillips to VP, brand marketing and creative. The announcement was made Oct. 16 by Terry Minogue, senior VP, brand marketing and creative. Phillips will supervise Spike’s on-air creative work and help create promotional content for on-air and marketing, digital, social, integrated and sales teams.

CBS 11 announced on Oct. 16 that Gilma Avalos and Lisa Villegas will be the on-air team for the CBS 11 New Saturday Morning and CBS 11 News Sunday Morning shows, on from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., respectively. Avalos was previously a reporter at WTVJ-TV Miami, while Villegas was at KRGV-TV in Weslaco, Texas.

Elizabeth Peña, an actress who was a regular on El Rey Network’s Matador and appeared on ABC’s Modern Family, died at age 55 of undisclosed natural causes after a brief illness, according to obituaries. Her nephew reported her death Oct. 15 in an obituary and tribute. She played the mother of lead character Tony Bravo in Matador.

Sarah T. Davies has been named VP, production and development, announced Discovery Family Channel general manager Tom Cosgrove on Oct. 16. Davies will help plan strategy, network direction and channel management for the family-focused 24-hour entertainment network.

KOMO Seattle news director Holly Gauntt has been appointed VP of news and digital content at Tribune’s KDVR-KWGN Denver. The University of Colorado graduate has had a 28-year career in journalism, previously serving as news director at WTXF Philadelphia and on boards for NATAS, RTDNA and ABC News Affiliate Advisory Board.

Wohler Technologies announced Oct. 16 that Dayan Sivalingam has been hired as director of engineering for the RadiantGrid business line. Sivalingam’s tasks will include managing and expanding Wohler’s file-based solutions engineering team and working with product management and sales to fulfill company strategy.

Neil Patrick Harris will host the Academy Awards. The actor and former How I Met Your Mother star, who has hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards twice and the Tony Awards four times, announced the news via a video posted online. The Oscar ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC on Feb. 22, 2013.

WUSF Public Media has elevated Tamica Gilbert to member services director. Gilbert, who has been with WUSF for 10 years, will be responsible for all aspects of the member services department, namely creating strategies for fundraising through membership programs.

Matt Graham has joined RLJ Entertainment as VP of British TV streaming service Acorn TV. He is taking over for Jen Linck, who is moving to RLJE’s West Coast office as VP of marketing strategy. Graham was previously co-founder and senior director of PBS Digital Studios, PBS’ web-original programming division.

Viacom has upped Ross Martin to the new title of executive VP of marketing strategy and engagement. Martin, the executive VP of Viacom’s creative consulting team Scratch, will look for new ways to engage viewers as he leads the data, research and creative strategy teams within Viacom Media Networks.

The National Association of Broadcasters’ executive VP and general counsel, legal and regulatory affairs, Jane Margo is retiring. Rick Kaplan, NAB executive VP, strategic planning, will succeed Margo, who joined NAB in 2004 after 26 years at the FCC. Kaplan will continue his oversight of spectrum issues.

NBCUniversal Hispanic cable network mun2 has tapped Peter Dobrow as VP, communications. Dobrow, who will report to mun2 president Ruben Mendiola, will be tasked with developing and fulfilling strategic communication plans, particularly for high-profile publicity campaigns for network talent and content.

Chris McCarthy, executive VP at MTV, will oversee Logo TV as the LGBT-oriented network’s new general manager, MTV announced Oct. 15. McCarthy, who had been the interim head of Logo since 2013, will continue to serve as general manager of MTV2 and mtvu.