Fates & Fortunes | December 2022

Kristen Hall of CBS Studios

Kristen Hall

Kristen Hall
has rejoined CBS Studios in Los Angeles as executive VP of communications, overseeing all publicity and communications strategies. She returns after four years at Amazon Studios/Prime Video, where she was director of original series publicity. 

Michael Slovin was named VP and general manager of Comcast Smart Solutions, based in Philadelphia and tasked with overseeing integration of the cable company’s advanced connectivity options with leading smart technology partners. He was VP, national field sales. 

Sharon Kroll Cohen of Common Sense Media

Sharon Kroll Cohen

Sharon Kroll Cohen advanced to chief marketing officer at Common Sense Networks in Los Angeles, parent of kids’ streaming service Sensical. Formerly VP, marketing, she joined the company in December 2021 from Nickelodeon, where she had been EVP. 

The CW Network has appointed Rebekah Dopp as executive VP of distribution, strategy and affiliate relations. The former CBS and HBO affiliate relations executive was most recently global head of diversity, equity and inclusion, brand and reputation at Google. 

Cheryl Dolins of Fox

Cheryl Dolins

Cheryl Dolins
was named senior VP, comedy programming and development at Fox Entertainment, based in Los Angeles. She was senior VP, comedy development at 20th Television, leading the development of all studio comedies for streaming, broadcast and cable.  

Gray Television has elevated Jaime Sayre Kawaja to general manager/general sales manager of Fox affiliate WFLX West Palm Beach, Florida. She had been general sales manager at Gray-owned CBS station WKYT Lexington, Kentucky. 

John Matts of Hallmark Media

John Matts

John Matts
joined Hallmark Media as chief financial officer, based in New York and reporting to president and CEO Wonya Lucas. Most recently CFO of Golf Channel, he also held financial leadership posts with NBCUniversal in the broader NBC Sports Group and at NBC News. 

Alice Rao of Hallmark Media

Alice Rao

Hallmark Media added Alice Rao as senior VP, publicity, based in Los Angeles. She was a communications and publicity consultant working with Netflix, HBO Max, Turner Networks and MRC Media on series such as Stranger Things, Emily in Paris, Russian Doll and The Upshaws

Heartland Video Systems named Alex Hudgins as Middle Atlantic regional sales manager. He comes from Videndum Production Solutions, where he handled Midwest and Southeast accounts for brands such as Vinten, Sachtler, Autoscript, Anton Bauer, Litepanels and Quasar Science.

Makeda Mays Green of Nickelodeon

Makeda Mays Green 

Makeda Mays Green
was elevated to senior VP, cultural and consumer insights at Nickelodeon, based in New York. An 11-year veteran of the network, she is the
former director of education and research, digital media, at Sesame Workshop. 

Nickelodeon promoted Andrea Strauss to senior VP, content and brand insights, adding oversight of the West Coast insights group to her duties. A Nick veteran of more than two decades, she will continue to lead the brand, consumer insights and content insights teams. 

Jay Prasad of Relo Metrics

Jay Prasad

Jay Prasad, a veteran ad technology and measurement executive, was named CEO of Relo Metrics, formerly known as GumGum Sports, which uses artificial intelligence to measure the value of sports sponsorships. Prasad was most recently LiveRamp’s chief strategy officer for TV.

Valerie Koonce was named VP and general manager of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s stations in Boise, Idaho, CBS affiliate KBOI and The CW affiliate KYUU. She most recently was marketing sales manager at Sinclair’s KUTV Salt Lake City, Utah.

John Manzi of Sinclair

John Manzi

Sinclair Broadcast Group also named John Manzi VP and general manager of KRCR (ABC), KRVU (MyNet) and KUCO (Univision) in Chico, California. He will also oversee Sinclair’s provision of services to KCVU (Fox). Manzi was VP/GM at Sinclair’s KSAS-KMTW in Wichita, Kansas.

Cyrus Farrokh has joined Studio Ramsay Global, the production company created by Gordon Ramsay and Fox Entertainment, as senior VP, strategy. He had been president, distribution at Propagate Content, where he launched international operations. 

Christy Coffey of Truly Original

Christy Coffey

Christy Coffey
has joined Truly Original as VP, development and talent, overseeing casting and talent relations. She had been casting director with Big Fish Entertainment as well as with Netflix and Viacom, with credits including Teen Mom, The Hills and Martha Knows Best

Marybeth Strobel of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports

Marybeth Strobel

Warner Bros. Discovery upped Marybeth Strobel to executive VP, advertising sales, responsible for Food Network, TLC, OWN, Cooking Channel, TBS Entertainment, Cartoon Network and WB Syndication. She had been at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports.

Cox Media Group-owned WSB Atlanta has elevated Brad Nitz to chief meteorologist and leader of Severe Weather Team 2. A meteorologist with the CBS station for 17 years, he has also worked for NBC News and at stations in Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida.  

Briefly Noted

Other industry executives making moves

Streaming technology provider Brightcove tapped Scott Levine as senior VP, head of product, based in New York. He was senior VP of product and technology at TelevisaUnivsion. … Ross Liberman has joined Hotwire Communications as senior VP of government affairs, based in Washington, D.C. He had served in the same role at ACA Connects.  … Camie Nicholas was named VP and general manager of Sinclair-owned Fox/MyNet affiliate KSAS in Wichita-Hutchinson, Kansas. She will also oversee Dabl station KMTW. She had been general sales manager of the stations. … The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) has elected its officers for 2023: Richard T. Jenkins of Warner Bros. Discovery, president; Richard Welsh of Deluxe Media, executive VP; Michael Zink of Warner Bros. Discovery, education VP; and Lisa Hobbs of MediaKind, secretary/treasurer, all for two-year terms. ▪️

Michael Demenchuk

Mike Demenchuk has served as content manager of Broadcasting+Cable and Multichannel News since 2016. After stints as reporter and editor at Adweek, The Bond Buyer and local papers in New Jersey, he joined the staff of Multichannel News in 1999 as assistant managing editor and has served as the cable trade publication's managing editor since 2005. He edits copy and writes headlines for both the print magazine and website, wrangles the occasional e-newsletter and reviews TV shows from time to time. He's also the guy to bother with your guest blog, Fates & Fortunes and Freeze Frame submissions.