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Fates Roundup, Sept. 2, 2014

The Weather Company has expanded the sales roles of seven employees as part of the company’s effort to move toward a sales strategy involving more data and technology. Eric Hadley is senior VP, sales, strategy and solutions; Vikram Somaya adds new responsibilities as general manager, WeatherFX; Jeremy Steinberg is senior VP, direct and automated ad sales; D.J. Reali is senior VP, ad sales and agency partnerships; Karen Marderosian adds new responsibilities as VP, regional manager, Detroit ad sales; Sean Kearney is VP, ad sales, Chicago; and Dan Owen is VP, ad sales, West Coast.

ISIS has beheaded American journalist Steven Sotloff, according to various reports and online video purporting to show the act. Sotloff, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2013, is the second American journalist to be beheaded by ISIS in the last three weeks, following James Foley’s murder two weeks ago.

2g Digital has promoted Stephen Buchsbaum to CEO, the digital media services provider announced Sept. 2. Buchsbaum, formerly the COO, will also serve as a member of the company’s Board of Directors. He has been in charge of 2g Digital since last November.

The FCC has tapped Paula Blizzard as deputy chief of the Enforcement Bureau. Blizzard had been a trial lawyer in the Justice Department’s antitrust division in San Francisco and emphasized antitrust and patent issues as a partner for Keker & Van Nest.

Aveco has welcomed Jim O’Brien to help lead global sales, the worldwide broadcast automation specialist announced Sept. 2. O’Brien brings 35 years of experience, including 6 ½ years as president of Building4Media, now PrimeStream.

Spike TV has added Ted Gold to the company as senior VP, scripted original series, it announced Sept. 2. Gold, formerly president of television and executive producer at Parkes +Macdonald/Universal Television, will look over scripted programming and guide a scripted development team. He will report to Sharon Levy, executive VP, original series.

Cox Media Group has designated Brett Fennell as senior VP and chief financial officer. Fennell, previously VP of financial planning and analysis at Cox subsidiary Manheim, will immediately oversee financial matters for digital, broadcasting and publishing companies within Cox Media Group, Cox Reps and Cox Target Media.

British TV host Piers Morgan has officially departed from CNN, he confirmed Sept. 2. Morgan, whose nightly show Piers Morgan Live ended in March, turned down a new two-year deal to host interview specials. The timing comes as CNN parent company Time Warner is offering buyouts to some 600 staffers.

WAFB Baton Rouge weekend morning show host Scott Rogers was shot and killed on Aug. 27 by his son-in-law, Matthew Hodgkinson. Hodgkinson then turned the gun on himself; he is in critical condition. Rogers hosted Around Town, which Hodgkinson helped produce.

Kaleidescape, Inc. has appointed Buzz Goddard as VP of sales, the home movie server company announced Aug. 29. Goddard, a custom electronics industry veteran with 25 years of experience, was previously the VP of sales at NetStreams. He was a founding board member of CEDIA.

Chelsea Clinton is departing NBC News. Clinton, who joined the network in December 2011 as special correspondent, said she will focus on her work with the Clinton Foundation. In addition, she is expecting her first child.

Danny Marti has been nominated by the White House as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator in the Executive Office of the President. Marti is managing partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in Washington, where he is co-chair of the Intellectual Asset Acquisitions & Transactions team.

President Barack Obama has chosen Ron Walter to serve on the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Walter will remain in his position as general manager and president of WREG Memphis. In addition, former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski will serve on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.

Envivio’s senior VP of global sales and services Ira Goldfarb is departing the company next month. The multiscreen video specialist revealed Aug. 27 that Goldfarb, who joined Envivio in January 2013, about eight months before the company went public, is resigning, effective Sept. 12.

Three additions have been made to the global sales team of over-the-air TV and radio company GatesAir. Xavier Collet, Jason Mak and Jhonny Maroun have all been hired as regional sales managers, in Paris, Singapore and the Middle East/North Africa region, respectively.

Michael Wright is leaving his position as president and head of programming at TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. His departure comes as Turner is cutting costs company wide and initiating voluntary buyouts to some 500 staffers. Wright was with Turner for 12 years, taking charge of programming for TNT in 2004 and the other two networks by 2007.

The View has made its appointment of Bill Wolff as executive producer official. The executive producer of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and the network’s VP of primetime programming Wolff takes over for Bill Geddie. In addition, the ABC show announced that Brian Balthazar will serve as co-executive producer, Ashley Gorman as director and Kathleen Rajsp as senior supervising producer.

Eric and Shannon Evangelista, the founders of Hot Snakes Media, announced three new hires on Aug. 28. Hal Lewis will serve as executive VP of production, Bill Murphy as VP and creative director and Paul Listro as VP of finance. The reality and docu-series TV production company is based in New York City.

Schurz Communications has upped J.B. Ozuna to VP of digital media. Formerly the director of sales and revenue development, Ozuna started in his new position Sept. 1 and reports to Kerry Oslund, senior VP of publishing and emerging media, CEO Todd Schurz and senior VP Marci Burdick.

Gannett Broadcasting has named Ellen Crooke VP of news. Previously the news director and regional news executive at WXIA Atlanta, Crooke will team with Michael Valentine to lead news for Gannett’s 46 stations. She joined Gannett in 2002 as VP of news at WGRZ Buffalo.

During the filming of an episode of Cops on Aug. 26., Bryce Dion, a 38-year-old crew member of the series, was shot and killed by police in Omaha. Dion, a seven-year veteran of the show, was with police who were responding to an armed robbery at a Wendy’s. Three officers reportedly opened fire in response to shots from the robbery suspect.

Jenny Groom has been elevated to senior VP, alternative programming and development, at NBC. Groom, who joined NBC in 2003 as a page, will be responsible for the alternative department’s show development. She will report to Paul Telegdy, NBC Entertainment president of alternative and late-night programming, and Meredith Ahr, executive VP, alternative programming.

Golf lifestyle media network BACK9NETWORK announced Aug. 27 that Chris Lencheski will oversee the organization’s linear and digital sales initiatives. Lencheski, previously the president of Front Row Marketing and Front Row Analytics, will lead his Phoenicia Sport Team for the network, which launches on DirecTV nationally Sept. 29.

21st Century Fox announced that Jean Rossi, the president of its Fox One cross company marketing group and an executive VP for Fox, was leaving the company Aug. 31. One of Fox Broadcasting’s first ad sales staffers, Rossi decided not to renew her contract.

The 2014 Streamy Awards will be hosted by comedians Hannah Hart and Grace Helbig. The award show, which celebrates YouTube and online video, will occur Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and be live-streamed from the Beverly Hilton. Hart and Helbig, who has an upcoming pilot for E!, each have more than 1 million YouTube subscribers.

Rob Mennie has been tapped as senior VP of Gannett Broadcasting and president and general manager of WTLV-WJXX Jacksonville, Gannett’s ABC-NBC pair in DMA No. 48. Mennie, previously the senior VP of news for Gannett, takes over the stations for Eric Land.

Ron Rankel, the former CEO of Synacor, officially resigned from the board of directors on Aug. 25, the company announced. Frankel announced he was stepping down as CEO back in March. He had been on the company’s board since 2001.

Timothy DeFoggi, the former acting Department of Health and Human Services cybersecurity director, has been convicted of online child pornography, said the Justice Department. He was the sixth individual convicted in an investigation into three child pornography websites, according to the DOJ.