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Dish Picks Ex-MTVN Exec as Chief Marketer

EchoStar Communications last week hired former MTV Networks marketer Jessica Heacock Insalaco as chief marketing officer, a move that prompted her to leave a volunteer leadership role she held with a cable-industry organization.

Insalaco, who in the past was referred to as Heacock, started Friday. The Dish Network parent company announced this in a news release Thursday after declining to comment on an earlier Multichannel News online report about her hiring.

She reports to EchoStar president and vice chairman Carl Vogel and will be responsible for leading branding, messaging and advertising efforts. Dish is the No. 2 U.S. satellite TV provider, with 13.4 million subscribers.

Insalaco was an affiliate marketer at VH1 and then at parent MTV Networks, in New York City, leaving a position as executive vice president earlier this year. She also was a marketer at cable operator Cox Communications and, EchoStar said, worked with EchoStar and News Corp. “during their business-integration negotiations.” In the late 1990s, News and EchoStar had a deal to merge satellite-TV operations, but News Corp. backed out of the deal.

She also worked for US West in Denver, where EchoStar is based.

Insalaco stepped down as chair of the Women in Cable Telecommunications board of directors, as that organization only has cable-industry executives in leadership positions. “The departure of Jessica Heacock is a tremendous loss for WICT and the cable industry as a whole,” WICT CEO Benita Fitzgerald Mosley said. Vice chair Jennifer Dangar, the Discovery Communications senior VP of domestic distribution, will replace her.

EchoStar has had a fair amount of turnover among top marketers under the close scrutiny of chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen: “In that environment, Charlie is the marketing person,” was how one TV executive familiar with EchoStar put it.

In December 2006, EchoStar marketing senior vice president Jody Martin, formerly of Qwest, left after a year and a half, replaced by Bobby Billman, who had held a different marketing job. Others in the position included Sí TV CEO Michael Schwimmer, who left in 2005.