Fates Round Up, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2013

Lara Logan takes leave of absence, Alec Baldwin's MSNBC show canceled and more...
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Here is a compilation of the latest executive moves in the industry.

Lara Logan has taken a leave of absence from 60 Minutes, following an internal review from CBS News of the Oct. 27 report on Benghazi. The piece was based primarily on an interview with Dylan Davies, a security contractor who went by the name “Morgan Jones” during the 60 Minutes taping. Davies’ credibility was questioned after conflicting reports surfaced about his whereabouts during the Benghazi attack. 60 Minutes producer Max McClellan has also taken a leave of absence from the program for his role in the segment. Logan had issued an on-air apology for the report during an appearance on CBS This Morning on Nov. 8, which was followed by a second apology on 60 Minutes on Nov. 10.

Alec Baldwin’s MSNBC show Up Late has been canceled, the news network announced on Nov. 26. The decision comes two weeks after Baldwin was caught on tape allegedly throwing an anti-gay slur at a paparazzo. MSNBC subsequently suspended the show.

John Watkins, president of ABC Owned Television Stations National Television Sales, will retire at the end of January, he announced on Nov. 25. Watkins has served in the role since 1986. He joined ABC in 1972.

Donald Shassian has been tapped as executive VP and chief financial officer for CBS Outdoor, it was announced on Nov. 25. Shassian, who recently worked as executive VP and chief financial officer for Frontier Communications, will supervise all financial operations for the company, which is in the process of separating from CBS Corporation.

Bruce Paisner was re-elected for a sixth term as president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the organization announced on Nov. 25. Paisner currently is a senior advisor for Hearst Entertainment and Syndication. IATAS’ current officers and  heads of the standing committees will also be reappointed, Paisner said shortly after his re-election.

Sal Masekala joins NBC Sports Group as a sports desk reporter for the network’s Olympics’ coverage. Masekala, who currently hosts and commentates for NBC’s Red Bull Signature Series, will present features for The Olympic Zone, a daily show for NBC affiliates. He also emcees and produces his own web series Travelin’ Sal: Come Ride With Me.

Cindie Nemes has been named VP of development at Rive Gauche Television, the company announced on Nov. 22. Nemes, who previously served as VP of development at Scott Messick’s Mess Media, will oversee original program development and sales for the U.S.

MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts was honored on Nov. 22 by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for his promotion of equality for the LGBT community. Roberts reported on the defeat of California’s Defense of Marriage Act and was saluted by the City of New York with Thomas Roberts Appreciation Day.

The Associated Press has tapped on Nov. 21 Brian Carovillano to oversee U.S. news reports. Carovillano, who previously served as the Asia Pacific news director, effectively replaces Mike Oreskes, who now works as a senior managing editor for global news. In his new role, Carovillano will manage the AP’s four U.S. regional editors.

Ray Schonbak, VP and general manager of KSWB San Diego died Nov. 20. He was 70. Schonbak had been battling cancer. The local TV vet had served two combat tours in Vietnam.

NBC announced on Nov. 20 that all four of its America’s Got Talent judges will return for the next season. Heidi Klum and Mel B will return for their second season on the show; Howard Stern, who said he was returning to AGT during his radio show the day before, comes back for his third stint; and Howie Mandel will judge for a fifth season. Host Nick Cannon is also set to return for his sixth year with the show.

Dan Dierdorf, longtime NFL analyst for CBS Sports, will retire after the season, it was announced on Nov. 20. Dierdorf has worked with CBS’ Greg Gumbel since 2006 but has served as an NFL analyst on TV for 30 years.

Anderson Cooper renewed on Nov. 20 his contract with CNN through the 2016 presidential election. Earlier this year, the network greenlit a 10 p.m. version of Cooper’s AC 360 titled AC 360 Later.

Veteran sportscaster Bob Costas will return next year to host NBC’s primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia, the network announced on Nov. 20. Costas will also emcee NBC’s late-night programming of the games. The announcement makes Costas the first 10-time U.S. television host for Olympic primetime coverage.

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