Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting announced internally last week that Ed Swindler will oversee broadcast syndication operations for NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution. Swindler, president of strategy and operations at NBC, will take over a number of duties done by Barry Wallach, former president of NBCU DTD who stepped down earlier this year. Sean O’Boyle, executive VP and general sales manager, Bo Argentino, senior VP of advertising and media sales, and Rob Fitzpatrick, executive VP of business and legal affairs, will report to Swindler in his new role. Frances Manfredi, president of NBCUniversal cable and new media distribution, will additionally supervise off-net syndication sales to broadcast and cable sales. Manfredi will continue to oversee digital and subscription-video-on-demand sales and film and television distribution to Canada. Valerie Schaer, executive VP of creative affairs, will lead development, programming, marketing and public relations for the department. Linda Finnell, senior VP of programming and development, and Tracie Wilson, senior VP, programming and development, Stamford Media Center, will both report to Schaer. Donna Mills, senior VP, marketing, communication and affiliate relations, and Alexis Rouse, VP, publicity, will report to both Schaer and Manfredi.
Linda Cohn and Shannon Spake signed multiyear extensions with ESPN, the network announced on Aug. 13. Cohn has been with ESPN since 1992 and will continue to serve as one of the anchors of SportsCenter. Spake started working for the network in 2006 and will continue to serve as a field reporter for college basketball and football as well as NASCAR pit reporter and host.
Al Jazeera America announced on Aug. 13 that Michael Okwu and Sarah Hoye will join America Tonight as correspondents. Okwu previously worked for NBC News in Los Angeles, appearing on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and the Today Show. Hoye most recently reported in Philadelphia for CNN. Al Jazeera America is set to launch on Aug. 20.
Jason Morgan will executive produce and showrun CMT’s Doomsday Garage, the network announced on Aug. 13. Morgan has previously worked for Discovery, History, TLC and TruTV. Doomsday Garage will premiere on Aug. 20.
The Center for Digital Democracy has tapped Hudson Kingston to join as legal director, the the organization announced on Aug. 13. Kingston previously worked with the Center for Food Safety and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Sara Gotfredson was named VP of multimedia sales at ESPN, the network announced on Aug. 13. Gotfredson, who has been with ESPN for eight years, will head West Coast sales for the company and continue to report to Wendell Scott, senior VP of multimedia.
Fox Sports 1 announced a bevy of talent in anticipation of the network’s launch on Aug. 12. Former NFL stars Randy Moss, Ronde Barber, Scott Fujita, and Brian Urlacher will contribute to Fox Football Daily and the net’s Sunday pregame show Fox NFL Kickoff.
Fox NFL Sunday talent will also appear on the weekday program, including Curt Menafee, Jay Glazer, Mike Pereira, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan. For the program’s college football segments, former University of Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt and Fox’s lead college broadcast team of Gus Johnson and Charles Davis will serve as analysts. Petros Papadakis and Erin Andrews will also make appearances on the show.
A+E Networks named four programming executives on Aug. 12. Elaine Frontain Bryant, who has been with the company since 2005, was promoted to senior VP of development and programming at the History Channel. Paul Cabana, who previously served as senior executive VP, will assume the role of VP head of programming at H2. Mary Donahue, who served as VP of programming and development at History, was upped to senior VP of non-fiction programming at Lifetime. Gena McCarthy, moves to Bio from Lifetime, and will serve as the senior VP of Bio.
Natasha Stenbock will join the KFMB San Diego meteorology team during weekday mornings, appearing on the 4:30 a.m., 5:00 a.m., 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. broadcasts, the station announced on Aug. 12. Stenbock previously forecasted the morning and noon shows for the station from 2005 through 2009. The meteorologist will work alongside morning anchors Dan Cohen and Nichelle Medina.
Tom Burke assumed the role of KGUN Tucson news director on Aug. 12. Burke who had been news director at WTVM Columbus, took over the position vacated by Forrest Carr, who resigned last spring.
ATEME announced on Aug. 12 that Karen McCone will join the video compression company as VP of media accounts longtime sales. McCone has worked with an array of companies, including Aldea Solutions, Kangaroo TV and Verisign.
NewBay Media and the National Association of Broadcasters announced the keynote speakers of NYC Television Week. The event’s speakers are: Irwin Gotlieb, chairman, GroupM; Peter Liguori, president and CEO, Tribune Co.; Steve Mosko, president, Sony Pictures Television; Tony Pace, CMO, Subway; Rich Ross, CEO, Shine America; Deb Roy, chief media scientist, Twitter; Gordon Smith, president and CEO, NAB; and David Stern, commissioner, National Basketball Association. NewBay Media publishes Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News.
Former MLB outfielder Gabe Kapler will join Fox Sports 1 as an MLB analyst on the network’s Fox Sports Live. In addition to playing in the MLB, Kapler worked as a minor league team manager and a scout. Fox Sports 1 is set to debut on Aug. 17.
Len Webber was tapped as the senior VP and head of production at JUMA Entertainment, the company announced on Aug. 9. Webber, the executive producer of Vanilla Ice Goes Amish, will lead JUMA’s east coast production operation out of New York City.
Al Jazeera America announced that David Shuster will serve as a New York anchor for the channel, which is set to launch on Aug. 20. Shuster was previously with MSNBC and Current TV, the network Al Jazeera bought to turn into Al Jazeera America.
Greg Goldman was named president of All3Media’s Studio Lambert USA on Aug. 8. Goldman, who previously worked with Renegade 83 under a production deal, will oversee original series and help bring the studio’s UK formats to the U.S.