Fates Roundup, Aug. 11, 2015

Paramount adds nine execs to Worldwide TV Licensing & Distribution division, Sesame Workshop hires Stallings and more

Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

Paramount’s Worldwide Television Licensing and Distribution division has appointed nine executives. New VPs of regional sales are Bernhard Schwab for German-speaking Europe; Jacques Roldan for Spain and Portugal; Astrid de Bernardis for Italy, Turkey and Greece; and Matt Downer for UK and Ireland. New directors are Yuriy Evdokimov for regional sales, Russia and Southeast Europe; Manju Nair for regional sales, South Asia; Sara Lind Palmer for TV Licensing, Scandinavia; Fernando Feldman for TV Sales, Brazil; and June Choi as executive director of regional sales, North Asia.

Sesame Workshop has added Kay Wilson Stallings to the organization as senior VP, content development. Stallings, previously senior VP of production and development at Nickelodeon, will supervise creative development and production of original pilots globally.

Digital Nirvana has welcomed Daniel Wasilko to the media management platform developer company as director of sales for broadcast products. Wasilko, who was Volicon’s sales director for six years, is responsible for sales and management of Digital Nirvana’s MonitorIQ media management platform.

Janet Stilson is one of the 12 screenwriters chosen for the inaugural year of Meryl Streep’s Writers Lab by the New York Women in Film and Television and Iris Film Collective. Stilson is editor of the Media Financial Management Association’s bimonthly magazine The Financial Manager.

Univision announced Aug. 11 the hiring of Laraine Mancini as senior VP, finance and head of investor relations, effective immediately. Mancini, based in New York, was formerly VP, corporate strategy and business development and VP, investor relations at Time Warner Cable.

Lisa Howfield has been named VP and general manager of KLAS in Las Vegas and its digital services, including Me-TV, Movies! and LasVegasNow.com. Howfield, who stars at the CBS affiliate effective immediately, takes over for Emily Neilson, who is retiring after 35 years at the station and 12 as GM.

Telemundo 39 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXTX has tapped Sandra Thomas as VP of news. Thomas, previously the Univision Station Group’s regional news director for Northern California Stations from 2009-13, will be responsible for the station’s overall performance beginning Aug. 17.

Greg Lipstone has joined All3Media America as CEO. The longtime founding partner and board member of ICM Partners, Lipstone will supervise All3Media America’s daily operations, including its 11 companies. He previously represented the company as well as some of its subsidiaries.

Dave Brown will serve as executive producer of Emmy-nominated weekly multiplatform news and public affairs program, MetroFocus. Brown, who has nearly 20 years of industry experience, was formerly an executive producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

Amanda Fitzpatrick is returning to her home state of North Carolina to serve as weekend evening anchor at Bahakel Communications’ WCCB-TV, Charlotte. Previously an anchor at Tribune’s WDAF-TV in Dallas, Fitzpatrick will start on Sept. 1

Deluxe Creative Services announced Aug. 10 the hiring of Jaclyn Paris as executive producer in its Atlanta facility. Paris will serve as EP for Beast Atlanta and supervise production for sister facilities Method Studios and Company 3.

Former NFL player and sports journalist Frank Gifford died from natural causes Aug. 9 at his Connecticut home. He was 84. Gifford, the husband of Today cohost Kathie Lee Gifford, played for the New York Giants from 1942-64 and was a commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football from 1971-97.

Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer was honored for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, while series star Schumer won an Individual Achievement in Comedy award at the 31st Annual TCA Awards Aug. 8. Program of the Year went to Fox freshman Empire, with AMC’s Better Call Saul named Outstanding New Program.

NATPE||Content First announced Aug. 7 the appointment of JP Bommel as managing director and chief operating officer. Bommel, who joins NATPE in September, was the founder of Barton Creek Intl., which developed global events and strategic partnerships, and former VP of business development, entertainment for Reed Midem.

Former Twentieth Television president Bob Cook has joined Fox-owned KTTV-KCOP as VP and general manager. Cook, who succeeds the retiring Kevin Hale, was president of Twentieth from 2000-10 and, before that, served as VP of CBS Enterprises.

ABC Family announced a series of hirings and promotions. Simran S. Sethi will serve as senior VP of original programming and development; Jennifer Gerstenblatt as VP of current programming; George Chen as VP of strategy and business development; and Karissa Zigarovich as director of consumer insights.

Turner Broadcasting has upped Justin Williams to senior VP of digital ventures for TNT and TBS. Williams, the VP of digital for TBS and TNT since early 2013, will help create strategic opportunities for new digital investments, partnerships and ventures.

Media Financial Management Association announced its 2015-2016 officers and elected board members. The MFM-BCCA board includes Manship Media CFO Ralph Bender as chair, Media General CAO Timothy Mulvaney as vice chair and SFX Entertainment senior VP Robert Damon as secretary

Discovery Communications has named Marjorie Kaplan as president of content for Discovery Networks International. Kaplan had previously been running Discovery's Animal Planet and TLC networks in the U.S., The company did not specify who will assume Kaplan's duties for Animal Planet and TLC in the U.S.

FCC commissioner Ajit Pai has tapped Alison Nemeth as his interim legal advisor for media issues. His chief of staff Matthew Berry, who has been handling media issues, will handle wireless issues for wireline legal advisor Nick Degani while he is out on paternity leave. Nemeth had been working on the upcoming broadcast incentive auction for the FCC Media Bureau.

Madison Square Garden Co. has added veteran media executive John Sykes to its board of directors. Sykes, who will be an independent Class A director of the company, is presumed to become a director of MSG’s media company after the completion of its planned spinoff.

PlayOn! Sports has elevated sales executives Christopher Young and Owen Shull, respectively, to senior VP of sales for the NFHS Network and senior VP and general manager, PlayOn! Sports Properties. Young will work with national brands and partners, while Shull will supervise operations, sales, state marketing agreements and TV distribution.

In its effort to push data to overcome a viewing decline, Viacom has hired three new executives to its data strategy team. Bryson Gordon will serve as senior VP of data strategy and Viacom Vantage; Gabe Bevilacqua as VP of product management for Viacom Vantage; Kodi Foster as VP of data strategy.

Crown Media Family Networks has named Jill Underhill as senior VP of on-air promotions. Underhill, most recently the owner and creative director of Buzz Creative, will supervise creative on-air promotion campaigns and lead the creation of corporate video assets.

Joe Bell has joined Comcast’s California Technical Operations group as the new area VP for the South Valley. Bell, previously senior director of technical operations for the Big South region, will supervise all aspects of South Valley operations for Comcast.

Test and Measurement equipment manufacturer and IP consultancy Omnitek has welcomed Tom O’Neill as VP of North American Sales and Business Development. O’Neill, who has over 30 years of industry experience, has past positions at FOR-A, Abekas Video Systems, Quantel, Chyron, Cine-tal Systems and Pixel Power Inc.