Fates & Fortunes Weekly Round-Up: Sept. 25, 2009


I’m actually on schedule this week so you get two rounds of media moves. A lot happens in just four days.

As always, you can follow us on Twitter @BCFates (or me personally @PaigeA where you will learn things like how I felt about last night’s primetime ratings and where I’m headed to ski for the weekend). Forward fates to me at BCFates@gmail.com or at palbiniak@gmail.com so I can include them here.

Big Kahunas/Bouncing Babies

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and his wife, The Early Show and Big Brother’s Julie Chen, are the proud parents of Charlie, born Thursday, Sept. 24, in Los Angeles.

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly gave birth to a baby boy on Friday morning, Sept. 25, according to TVNewser. Edward Yates Brunt, named after his two grandfathers, weighs in at 7 pounds 10 ounces. Megyn and her husband, Doug Brunt, plan to call him “Yates.” Kelly is quite the wonder-anchor: she hosted her show yesterday and did her segment on The O’Reilly Factor last night, then apparently casually dropped by the hospital and delivered a baby. We expect to see her back on the air on Monday.

Journalism Jumps

Paul Friedman has been promoted to executive vice president of CBS News, according to TV Newser. Friedman joined CBS News in April 2006 as a vice president. Prior to that, Friedman spent two years at PBS, joining public television after spending 24 years at ABC News, including two stints as executive producer of World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Friedman started his news career at NBC News. He was executive producer of Today from 1976-79 and a senior producer of NBC Nightly News from 1975-76. He began his journalism career as a reporter and writer for WNBC Radio News in 1967.

Programming Prospects

Shari Weisenberg has been named senior vice president of marketing at the Sundance Channel. She joins Sundance from NBC Universal’s SyFy, where she was vice president of strategic marketing. Prior to joining SyFy, Weisenberg was director of marketing for Bravo, where she was responsible for the development of British Airways’ integrated partnership of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy; Macy’s sponsorship of Project Runway and Sears’ sponsorship of Top Chef.  Prior to that, Weisenberg was marketing director for CNBC.  Weisenberg also was senior V.P. of business development for digital agency, thoughtbubble, where she consulted for a variety of entertainment brands such as AMC, CNN, IFC, Showtime, Columbia Tri-Star, Miramax, New Line, Sony, Warner Bros and Roadrunner.

Susie Fitzgerald was named senior vice president of scripted development and current programming at AMC, a new position for the network. Previously, Fitzgerald was president of television at Josephson Entertainment. She’s also held positions at Darren Star Productions, Brad Grey Television and HBO.

Station Switches

Marie McGlynn-Peach has been named V.P. and director of sales for Fox’s triopoly in Orlando, WOFL/WRBW/WOGX. Prior to joining the stations, McGlynn-Peach helmed her own consulting company, McGlynn Media Sales & Assets. Before that, she was with Belo Corp. for eight years, most recently serving for four years as vice president of sales for Fox’s KTVK/KASW Phoenix and the duopoly’s Web portal, azfamily.com.

Steve Flint has been named local sales manager at New Vision’s Savannah, Ga.-duopoly WJCL/WTGS, reports TVNewscheck.  Flint has served the past several months as the stations’ South Carolina sales office manager.

Alan Shope is no longer sports director at Grey’s ABC affiliate KAKE Wichita, reports the Wichita Eagle.

Corporate Changes

Lisa Gersh, NBC Universal’s President of Strategic Initiatives and Managing Director of The Weather Channel, is joining NBC News’ management team. In a new position, Gersh will oversee the news division’s business development and joint venture partnerships including The Weather Channel. Gersh joined NBCU in November of 2007 after the company acquired Oxygen Media, a media company which she co-founded with Geraldine Laybourne and served as its President and Chief Operating Officer. Since joining NBCU, Gersh was instrumental in the multi-billion dollar acquisition of The Weather Channel Companies and served as interim CEO during its transition.  Prior to joining Oxygen, Gersh had more than 15 years of experience in creating strong corporate partnerships and negotiating financing at the New York law firm Friedman Kaplan & Seiler LLP, which she co-founded and served as a partner from 1986 to 1998. Gersh began her career as an attorney with the firm Debevoise & Plimpton. Admitted to the New York State Bar Association in 1984, Gersh earned her J.D. from Rutgers Law School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Political Science and economics from the State University of New York Binghamton.

Joe Lagani has been named senior V.P. of ad sales at NBC Universal’s iVillage. Lagani had been with iVillage competitor Glam Media as its head of client sales.

Earl Camburn has been promoted to senior creative services manager for Comcast Sports Group, from Avid editor/graphics designer. Earl started with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia in 1997 and has been recognized with four Emmys for his work.  Earl, who is a graduate of Temple University, previously worked at NFL Films.


It’s been a big week for actor Ken Howard: first he wins the Emmy for best supporting actor in a made for TV movie – HBO’s Grey Gardens – and then he’s named president of the Screen Actors Guild.


Barbara Walters was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award at last week’s News and Documentary Emmys in New York City. Tributes to Walters came from CBS News anchor Katie Couric and ABC News President David Westin. CNN Productions also received the President’s Award for their “long-standing commitment to long-form documentaries. PBS was the night’s big winner, picking up a total of six news and doc Emmys. CBS and NBC each took home five, while ABC grabbed two and CNN one.  A complete list of winners is available here.


A. Wilson (Will) Flannery, V.P. of advanced services for Fox Cable Networks, passed away suddenly Sept. 18 at just 38 years of age.  Flannery was responsible for the day-to-day distribution activities of advanced television services, including high-definition, interactivity and video-on-demand, for Fox’s 36 programming networks.  Flannery lived in Hermosa Beach, Calif., and is survived by his wife Kristin Torgen Flannery, daughters Sarah and Norah; parents Catherine and Francis Terrance Flannery of Vista, Calif.; and brother Francis Emmett Flannery, sister-in-law Julia Flannery, and nephew Connor of Holyoke, Mass.  At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, donations to be held in trust for Flannery’s daughters may be made to the “Sarah and Norah Flannery Scholarship Fund,” c/o Ken Teshima, Teshima & Associates, 2215 West 190th Street, Torrance, Calif., 90504.

Timothy J. Russert, known as ‘Big Russ,’ passed away Sept. 24. He was 85. Russert was the father of Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington Bureau Chief and highly-respected host of Meet the Press, who died suddenly of a heart attack last June at 58.  He was also the subject of Russert’s 2004 book “Big Russ and Me.”

Actor John Hart, 91, who replaced Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger for 52 episodes, starred in the 1940s movie serial Jack Armstrong: The All-American Boy and the 1950s TV series Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans, died Sunday, Sept. 20, at his home in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, said his wife, Beryl, of 52 years.