Fates Roundup, June 23, 2015

Hill leaving Fox to start production company, WNJU names Mendez VP of news and more

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

David Hill, known as the architect of Fox Sports, will step down in July from his post as executive VP for 21st Century Fox and chairman of National Geographic’s U.S. channels. Hill will launch Hilly, a Fox-backed production company focusing on live TV, reality shows and digital investments.

Telemundo station WNJU has hired Karen Mendez as VP of news. Mendez, who had been the VP of news at KXTX Dallas-Fort Worth since June 2014, begins at Telemundo 47, which serves the New York City market, in mid-July. She will help supervise the launch of a 4:30 p.m. half-hour local newscast.

Dick Van Patten, who starred on Eight Is Enough in the 1970s, died June 23 in Santa Monica from complications from diabetes. He was 86. The comic actor also appeared in The Love Boat, Happy Days and I Dream of Jeannie.

Broadcast management company Canis Television and Media announced three senior hires. Barney Rattle will serve as studio and special projects director, Steve Webber as business development manager and Claire Bramley as director of local TV.

Raymond Dooley will be truTV’s new VP of marketing. Dooley, formerly VP of marketing at SundanceTV, will be tasked with developing and implementing the network’s off-air marketing across all platforms. Based in New York, Dooley reports to Puja Vohra, truTV’s senior VP of marketing and digital.

Turner Broadcasting has elevated Rachelle Savoia to VP of communications. The Atlanta-based Savoia, who joined Turner in 2011 as director of communications, will supervise communication strategy and media relations for Turner Content Distribution.

Multimedia entertainment studio Electus announced a number of promotions June 23. Montrel McKay and Sean Canino have been upped to VP of creative development, television and VP of scripted television, respectively; Raymond Galaviz to manager, creative development and talent; Max Levenson to manager of current and creative development; Brad Jorgensen to senior VP of worldwide operations. Cyrus Farrokh to VP of Northern Europe and Asia Pacific; Diego Piasek to VP of international distribution and production; KC Walker to executive director, marketing solutions; and Julia Shapiro to VP, legal and business affairs.

PromaxBDA announced on June 22 that Leslie Lyndon will be the first recipient of the Industry Icon Award. The honor recognized her nearly 20 years of service to local stations, network colleagues and syndication partners. Lyndon, who retired this year as Fox Television Stations’ VP, advertising and promotion, will be presented the award June 25 in Las Vegas.

Media consultancy CJ&N has added Steve Doerr as VP of client development and senior consultant. Doerr’s past positions include GM at WLNE Providence, GM at KXAS Dallas; and senior VP of news, programming and creative development VP and chief quality officer for the NBC owned station group.

Cindy Kain has joined The Studio as VP of current production. Kain, who has more than 20 years of production experience and was previously a director of production at TLC, will executive produce select programs for The Studio, formerly Discovery Studios.

Azteca America announced June 22 the hiring of Nicole Burri as senior VP, national sales, effective immediately. Burri, who will be responsible for creating strategy and leading all national spot sales efforts, returns to Azteca America after working at Estrella TV since 2012 as its VP of sales.

A+E Networks has tapped Edward Sabin as managing director, Americas, and head of commercial operations, international. Sabin, formerly the group chief operating officer for Discovery and TLC Networks, will lead the company’s growth efforts in latin America and Canada.

Longtime entertainment industry PR executive Barbara Brogliatti died June 21 after a battle with cancer. She was 69. Brogliatti joined Warner Bros. in 1993, moving up to executive VP and chief communications officer. She worked on such shows as All in the Family, Dallas, Full House, Friends and E.R.

ABC10News/KGTV was recognized with the Best Newscast Emmys for its morning, evening and weekend newscasts, marking the third straight year that the ABC affiliate has won all three major awards. 10News won in 13 categories overall.

NBC Owned Television Stations announced June 19 that Susan Tully was the new president and general manager of WVIT Hartford, the NBC-owned station airing in Hartford-New Haven, Conn.. Tully, previously VP of news for NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth/KXAS, takes over for Ric Harris, who was recently moved to NBCU’s two local Philadelphia stations to be president and GM.

Ralph Roberts, the founder and chairman emeritus of Comcast, died of natural causes June 18 in Philadelphia. He was 95. Roberts and his partners Daniel Aaron and Julian Brodsky bought a 1,200-subscriber cable TV operator in Tupelo, Miss., in 1963 for about $500,000. He called it Comcast, combining the words communications and broadcasting.

TV reporter Bill Carter has joined CNN, where he will serve as a contributor and analyst on media stories across the network’s TV and digital platforms. Carter took a buyout offer last year from The New York Times, where he had been since 1989. Prior to that he was the Baltimore Sun’s TV critic.

The Journalism and Women Symposium has chosen Kirstin Garriss to be part of its 2015 Emerging Journalist Fellowship. The North Carolina graduate, who has been a general assignment reporter for WHAG-TV since July 2013, has been a member of the Frederick, Md. chapter of JAWS since November 2013.

Satellite service provider Intelsat has appointed Karen Schmidt VP of marketing, effective immediately. Schmidt, previously VP of business marketing at Comcast Business, will take the helm on Intelsat’s product and marketing efforts for its roster of services for broadband, government, media and mobility customers.

Norman Horowitz, the former president and CEO of MGM/UA Telecommunications, died June 17 at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 82. The Bronx native, whose career in TV started in the Screen Gems editing room in 1956, served as Columbia Pictures Television’s president until 1976.

NBC News decided that embattled anchor Brian Williams will not return to the Nightly News anchor chair when his suspension ends in August. Williams will move to MSNBC, where he will mainly lead the cable news network’s breaking news coverage. Lester Holt, who had been filling in on Nightly News, will now be the permanent anchor.

Shure Incorporated has expanded Chris Schyvinck’s responsibilities and promoted Robin Hamerlinck. Schyvinck, now the executive VP of global operations, marketing and sales, and chief operating officer, will lead the company’s operations division. Hamerlinck will serve as senior VP of global information systems and CIO.

Digital media player Roku announced that Steve Louden will serve as the company’s chief financial officer. Louden, who held past positions at Washington Mutual, McKinsey and Company, the Walt Disney Company and, most recently, as treasurer for Expedia, will take over for Erik Bardman.

Time Warner Cable announced June 17 the promotion of John H. Keib to executive VP and chief operating officer, residential services. Keib, who had been serving as executive VP, residential operations, joined TWC’s marketing team in 1998.

Digital media supply-chain company Visual Data Media Services has tapped Bill Watt as president. Watt, who spent 31 years at post-production and distribution company Modern VideoFilm, will be responsible for increasing VDMS’ post-production, content management and distribution efforts.

Vikram Somaya has joined ESPN as senior VP and CDO. Formerly general manager of the Weather Company’s AdFX unit, Somaya will take the helm on data strategy and look for new revenue models and sales strategies. He will report to Ed Erhardt, ESPN’s president, global sales and marketing.

Teal Newland will be the new senior VP, marketing and partner management, Condé Nast Entertainment, effective July 13. Joy Marcus, executive VP and general manager, digital video, made the announcement June 17.

The Weather Company has hired Domenic Venuto to lead its AdFX unit, formerly known as WeatherFX, which develops local ad targeting solutions from Weather’s access to location and climate data. Venuto previously was the global president, data, technology and partnerships at Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi unit.

General Cable has appointed Peter E. Schmitt Company to promote Gepco Brand products in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. The company, which has serviced the region for more than 89 years, is a leading manufacturer’s representative firm for professional audio, video, lighting and OEM products.

Encompass Digital Media has named Jonathan Goldstein its senior VP, North America sales and client services. Goldstein, formerly president – Americas at Snell, will lead sell efforts in North America for the media capture, management and distribution services company.

Millennimedia will work with Tim Miller to deliver a variety of marketing and production services, the entertainment marketing agency’s CEO Lila Everett announced. Miller is the founder of digital content and commercial production company Big Chief Entertainment.