Fates Round Up, Thursday, July 11, 2013


Here is a compilation of the latest executive moves in the industry.

Al Jazeera America on July 11 announced the hire of its first four news anchors - Jonathan Betz, Richelle Carey, Morgan Fogarty and Del Walters. The four anchors will present live news throughout the day from the network’s new studio in New York City. Betz joins Al Jazeera America from WFAA-TV in Dallas, Carey was most recently an Atlanta-based anchor and correspondent for CNN, Fogarty comes from WCCB in Charlotte and Walters joins from WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.

Diana Buddingh was named on July 11 director, global entertainment production, FremantleMedia, from head of international productions at Talpa International. From the company’s London office, Diana will oversee brand management and global rollout of all FremantleMedia’s original and acquired non-scripted series, reporting into FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz. She begins Oct. 1.

Fox Broadcasting announced two executive appointments July 10, promoting Barbara de Santis from VP to senior VP, broadcast standards, Fox Broadcasting and MundoFox, and Trae Williams from VP to senior VP, broadcast standards and practices, Fox Broadcasting. De Santis will supervise the review of comedy programming, development projects and on-air marketing, and will enforce compliance with government and company regulations. Williams will oversee broadcast standards for the network’s alternative, drama and event series.

Recently-retired NFL offensive lineman Jeff Saturday joined ESPN July 10 as an analyst. Saturday, who was featured as a guest analyst in March, will appear across NFL Live, SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms. He debuts next week with three days of appearances from July 17-19.

Comedy Central announced July 10 that it has tapped actor James Franco as its next Roastee. The Comedy Central Roast of James Franco will tape in Los Angeles in August and premiere on Labor Day.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck left The View July 10 to join Fox News’ morning talk show Fox & Friends. She will replace Gretchen Carlson, joining Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, starting mid-September.

Rational 360 announced July 10 that Tricia Primrose, a former executive VP of corporate communications at AOL, has joined as partner. She will expand the firm’s work in media, entertainment, technology and other sectors.

Universal Cable Productions promoted Mark Binke to executive VP of production on July 10. Binke previously served as senior VP of cable & digital production at UCP. He will now report to George Cheeks, who oversees TV production operations for UCP, Universal Television and NBC Entertainment.

Jose Sariego was appointed July 10 to senior VP, business and legal affairs, Telemundo Media, from HBO Latin America Group, where he served as senior VP, business and legal affairs, as well as chief legal and compliance officer, and secretary to the board of directors. He will serve as main counsel and strategic business partner to the leadership team, managing all business, legal and music affairs, as well as negotiating programming development and production deals.

Kristina Levsky was hired July 10 as VP, public relations and corporate communications, Ovation. She will lead communications strategy, including consumer and business media initiatives, corporate communications, award campaigns, speaking engagements and media tours, reporting to Evan Minskoff, senior VP, head of marketing and brand strategy.

NBCUniversal announced July 9 that it will launch The Meredith Vieira Show next fall. The show will star Vieira, who also will serve as an executive producer. NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution will produce and distribute.

Harris Broadcast appointed Charlie Vogt on July 9 as its new CEO, after serving nine years as president and CEO of Genband. Vogt succeeds Harris Morris, who was named president of Harris Broadcast in 2010 and led the company during divestiture and sale to The Gores Group ownership.

Heather Jones was hired July 9 as VP, programming,  A+E Networks UK, a joint venture between A+E Networks and BSkyB, from her previous position as managing director of independent production company North One Television, part of the All3Media group. In her new post, Jones will be responsible for driving audience growth and expanding the company’s international reach.

Producer Julia Silverton was appointed July 9 to VP, development, CMT. Zena Van Ackeren was appointed to the newly created position of VP, talent and specialty casting, from a production career with Shed Media US. Silverton will oversee network programming, while Van Ackeren will develop the channel’s new internal casting division and work with external producers and casting directors.

Bil Apker  was named on July 9 account manager for the Western United States at Snell, from his position managing the Western U.S. region for Miranda Technologies. Greg Doggett became senior account manager for the Southeastern United States, from director of file-based solutions, Americas, Miranda Technologies.

ABC News announced July 9 that senior producer Mark Lima is joining the network’s joint venture with Univision, Fusion, as VP of news. Lima was most recently responsible for developing stories and leading digital and social media integration for Nightline.

News director Robert Rockstroh issued on July 9 his resignation at WLNE Providence. He joined the ABC affiliate in early 2012.

Sherrese Smith, former chief counsel to former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, joined the D.C. office of law firm Paul Hastings LLP July 8 as a partner in the firm’s telecom and media practice. She will help boost the firm’s growing data privacy and security business as well as deals and transactions.

Jennifer Dorian was promoted July 8 to chief strategy officer for Turner Entertainment Networks (TEN), the division of Turner Broadcasting that includes TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and truTV, from senior VP of strategic development. She will continue to work with network executives to create strategies that will strengthen and sustain the TEN brands and business in today’s rapidly evolving media world.

Lee Rierson was named on July 8 COO of FremantleMedia North America (FMNA), effective July 22, from Shine America, where he was also COO. Rierson will oversee production, business and legal affairs, communications and marketing, business development and strategic planning.

Rob Sorcher was named on July 8 executive VP/chief content officer of Adult Swim and Mike Lazzo became executive VP/creative director for Adult Swim. Sorcher had been chief content officer for Cartoon Network. Lazzo had been senior VP, programming and production, for Adult Swim. Both execs report to Stuart Snyder, president and COO of Turner Broadcasting’s animation, young adults and kids media division.

Karen L. Herman was promoted July 8 from director to VP of the Archive of American Television at The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. She will head up management and maintenance of the Academy’s video assets.

Zanna Roberts Rassi joined the E! News on-air team July 8 as a contributing fashion correspondent. Roberts Rassi, who has appeared as an E! contributor to shows like E! News and Fashion Police, will help shape The Trend, Eonline’s beauty and lifestyle destination, with style-related interviews and content.

Anhelo Reyes joined Fusion July 8 as VP of marketing from Nickelodeon, where she served as VP of strategic property planning and marketing. Reyes will lead the company’s branding, marketing and promotional efforts.