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Fates & Fortunes: April 2021

Megan Dietz

Megan M. Dietz (Image credit: Cable One)

Megan M. Dietz
will join Cable One in Phoenix as senior VP, human resources.
She is senior VP of human resources & administration at Hargray Communications, which Cable One will acquire in the second quarter of 2021. 

Alison Hellman

Alison Hellman (Image credit: Charter)

Charter Communications has upped Alison Hellman to senior VP of content, strategy and marketing for Spectrum Networks. The former Madison Square Garden Co. and Rainbow Media executive  had joined Charter in 2016 as group VP, marketing. 

Brenda Laboy

Brenda Laboy (Image credit: Comcast)

Brenda Laboy
has joined Comcast as VP of network engineering and
construction for its Norcross, Georgia-based Big South region. The 16-year AT&T veteran had most recently been assistant VP of wireless and wireline construction in Los Angeles. 

Deborah Lucy

Deborah Lucy (Image credit: Cox Enterprises)

Cox Enterprises in Atlanta has elevated Deborah Lucy to VP, associate general counsel, corporate law, responsible for leading the company’s new corporate law Center of Excellence. She was AVP, associate general counsel, corporate and strategic transactions. 

Maureen Barrett

Maureen Barrett (Image credit: Crown Media)

Maureen Barrett
has been named director of talent relations & events at Crown Media Family Networks in New York, charged with centralizing and streamlining the Hallmark Channel parent’s talent-relations function. She was president of That Girl Public Relations. 

Lena Wasikowski

Lena Wasikowski (Image credit: Deluxe)

Lena Wasikowski
has joined Deluxe in Los Angeles as senior VP, global account strategy and business development. She comes from WarnerMedia, where she had been VP of global client relations & content distribution. 

Nischelle Turner

Nischelle Turner (Image credit: ET)

Nischelle Turner
was named co-host of Entertainment Tonight, alongside current host Kevin Frazier. Turner has been an ET correspondent since 2014, will host the fall CBS series Secret Celebrity Renovation and is a CNN contributor. 

Kathleen Thompson

Kathleen Thompson (Image credit: Extreme Reach)

ER Payroll Solutions, an Extreme Reach division providing payroll, accounting and labor relations for production casts and crews, has hired Kathleen Thompson as head of production incentives. She was VP, sales and new business at GreenSlate.

Jeff A. Taylor

Jeff A. Taylor (Image credit: Fox)

Jeff A. Taylor
has been promoted to general counsel at Fox Corp. Taylor, who joined Fox in 2019 as executive VP and chief litigation counsel, is a former deputy counsel and chief compliance officer at  automaker General Motors. 

Sergio Verdu

Sergio Verdu (Image credit: Fox Deportes)

Sergio Verdu
has joined Fox Deportes in Los Angeles as VP of production. The 20-year media executive comes from ESPN, where he most recently was director of product development and new products overseeing global strategic production based on partner needs. 

Peter Saiers

Peter Saiers (Image credit: Nexstar)

Nexstar Media Group has named Peter Saiers as news director of KTLA
Los Angeles. Saiers, who had been news director at KING Seattle, succeeds Jason Ball, who had been KTLA’s news director for 12½ years and announced plans to leave in February. 

Sandra Sims-Williams

Sandra Sims-Williams (Image credit: Nielsen)

Sandra Sims-Williams
has been named chief diversity officer at Nielsen, replacing
CEO David Kenny in that role. She joined Nielsen in January 2020 as senior VP, diversity and inclusion, after serving as chief diversity officer at Publicis Group. 

Kate O'Brian

Kate O'Brian (Image credit: Scripps)

Kate O’Brian
has joined E.W. Scripps as head of news for its national television networks business, responsible for the news and programming strategy for Newsy and Court TV. O’Brian is a 30-year veteran of ABC News, finishing as senior VP for news. 

Evan Pappas

Evan Pappas (Image credit: Scripps)

E.W. Scripps has tapped Evan Pappas as VP and general manager of WFTX, the company’s Fox affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida. He had been VP and general manager of Scripps-owned NBC station KOAA Colorado Springs since 2011. 

Wanda Witherspoon

Wanda Witherspoon (Image credit: Sesame Workshop)

Wanda Witherspoon
was named chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Sesame Workshop in New York, a new post. She had been the nonprofit children’s television producer’s VP of public affairs and special events. 

Kristie Gonzalez

Kristie Gonzalez (Image credit: Tegna)

Kristie Gonzalez
has been elevated to VP, media operations, at Tegna. She will continue as GM of KVUE Austin, Texas, adding oversight of KYTX Tyler, Texas,
as well as supervise recruiting across Tegna’s 11 stations in the state. 

Kevin Dunaway

Kevin Dunaway (Image credit: VUit)

VUit, a streaming service featuring content from local TV stations, has named
Kevin Dunaway as VP of affiliate relations and content development. He comes from WWTV in Traverse City, Michigan, where he was general manager. 

Katrina Cukaj

Katrina Cukaj (Image credit: WarnerMedia)

Katrina Cukaj
was named lead of ad sales and client partnerships at Warner­Media, overseeing the go-to-market sales team and their agency and client relationships, including the upcoming ad-supported HBO Max offering. She was lead of marketing, creative and network partnerships.


Other industry execs making moves

Effects studio AFX Creative has promoted Esther Minitser to head of production. Also, AFX hired Jessica Amburgey as senior color producer and Stefan Kim as production coordinator. … Daniel R. Hesse has been named as chairman of the board of Akamai Technologies, succeeding the retiring Frederic V. Salerno. Hesse is the former CEO of Sprint. … Fox Corp. also tapped Nicholas Trutanich as executive VP and chief ethics & compliance officer. Trutanich is the former U.S. Attorney for Nevada. … Nilay Shah was named executive VP and head of investor relations at Lionsgate. He comes from Citadel Global Equities, where he was technology, media and telecom (TMT) analyst. … Ad-tech firm has added Lynda Clarizio to its board of directors. She is a former president, U.S. media at Nielsen. … Betty Wong was named chief financial officer at Velocity. She was VP of finance and operations at Unacast.