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Ovation Names Samuels as Distribution Head

Network sales veteran Brad Samuels has joined cable channel Ovation as executive VP, distribution.

Ovation also said that Chad Gutstein, who was part of the team that acquired Ovation in 2006, has been promoted to chief operating officer from executive VP.

Samuels will report to Gutstein. Ellen Schned, who had been senior VP of distribution, is pursuing a career as a cable consultant and will continue to work with on Ovation's distribution strategy, the network said.

Samuels joins Ovation from MSG Media where he was executive VP, content distribution until October 2010. MSG and Time Warner Cable are currently in a very public dispute over the carriage of Madison Square Garden Network and Fuse.

Previously, Samuels supervised affiliate sales for TV One and Comedy Central.

"Brad joins our network at a pivotal time. We've just hit the 46 million subscriber mark and we're committed to accelerating our growth to hit 50 million in 2012," Gutstein said in a statement. "We feel strongly that his remarkable track record and leadership skills will be help us meet those goals if not exceed them."