Fates Roundup, April 1, 2014

Brian McHale heads to Journal Broadcast Group, Erlicht and Van Amburg re-up with SPT and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest executive moves in the industry.

Jan Koeppen has been tapped as president of Europe and Africa for Fox International Channels. Koeppen, who has been COO of Europe and Asia at 21st Century Fox since April 2009, will start his new position in April, reporting to Hernan Lopez, president and CEO of FIC. As president, he will helm FIC’s 94 television stations and online services.

Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg have renewed their contracts as copresidents of programming and production with Sony Pictures Television, it was confirmed on April 1. The duo have helmed the department since 2005, bringing such talent into the SPT fold as Vince Gilligan and David Shore. The studio recently received straight-to-series orders for AMC’s Better Call Saul, CBS’ Battle Creek, Syfy’s Helix, and Starz’s Outlander.

Journal Broadcast Group has named Brian McHale VP and chief technology officer. McHale will head long-term planning for the company’s technical and physical infrastructure across its 13 television stations and 35 radio stations. He will succeed Andy Laird in the role, who announced he was retiring last fall. McHale, who most recently was VP of technology for Fisher Communications, will start at Journal on April 7, reporting to Debbie Turner, executive VP of television, and Steve Wexler, executive VP of radio.

Jim Thomas is heading to Frank N. Magid Associates as VP of marketing, it was announced on April 1. Thomas, who had been VP of marketing and programming at Journal Broadcast Group, will start at Magid on April 21.

Former NFL quarterback Trent Green has been tapped by CBS Sports as a game analyst, replacing Dan Dierdorf, who retired after last season. Green, who played in the NFL from 1993-2007, will also appear on CBS Sports Network’s That Other Pregame Show, NFL Monday QB, and The NFL Today. The former QB previously emceed games for Fox and as an analyst for NFL Network.

Terrell Brown has been tapped as a general assignment reporter and contributing anchor for ABC 7 Chicago. Brown most recently served as an anchor for CBS News’ Up to the Minute and the CBS Morning News as well as a fill-in anchor for CBS Evening News’ weekend edition. He starts at the station on April 14.

Bryan Noguchi has been named senior VP, media director of R2C Group, the marketing agency announced on April 1. Noguchi, who will be based out of the agency’s Portland office, will oversee the department’s 55 team members as well as media buying, planning and strategy. He reports to R2C CEO Michelle Cardinal. Most recently, Noguchi served as director of integrated planning strategy for R2C Group.

Laura Forti has been upped to VP of Turner Entertainment Networks Distribution, the company announced on April 1. Forti, who previously served as director of the division, will now help broker deals with Turner International, third-party distributors and broadcasters for TEN’s network portfolio, which includes TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. She reports to Patrick Kelly, senior VP of business affairs for TEN.

Craig Erwich has been tapped as senior VP, head of content at Hulu, the company announced on March 31. Erwich joins the streamer from Warner Horizon Television, where he oversaw development, production and business operations.

Greg Easterly has been named president and general manager of WGN Chicago, the station announced on March 31. Easterly most recently served as president and general of WJW Cleveland, which was acquired by WGN parent Tribune from Local TV. He will also oversee CLTV, the company’s Chicago-based regional cable news channel, and will report to Larry Wert, president of broadcast media at Tribune.

Chad E. Gutstein has been appointed CEO of Machinima, the multichannel network announced on March 31. Gutstein, who most recently served as COO of Ovation, succeeds co-founder and chairman Allen DeBevoise, who stepped down as CEO earlier this year. In March, Machinima completed a round of financing for $18 million led by Warner Bros. The company also recently announced that Anthony Vinciquerra, CEO of Fox Networks Group, had joined its board of directors.

Donna Redier Linsk has been tapped as executive VP of business operations and programming at Telepictures, the company announced on March 31. Redier Linsk, who most recently was COO of FremantleMedia North America, will helm all of Telepictures’ business affairs, reporting to Mike Darnell, president of unscripted and alternative television at Warner Bros.

ESPN is expanding Jessica Mendoza’s role at the network to include coverage on Baseball Tonight. Mendoza, who joined the net as a college softball analyst in 2007, will appear in the broadcast booth for some ESPN telecasts and will continue to serve as a lead analyst for the net’s college softball coverage. She played on the U.S. Women’s National team from 2001-10, during which time the group won Olympic Gold and Silver medals.  

Raul Gonzalez will develop and host a new variety series for Telemundo, the company announced on March 31. Gonzalez, who most recently hosted Univision’s morning show Despierta America, will also contribute to other series and specials, including hosting the Billboard Latin Music Awards on April 24.

Producer and performer Pharrell Williams will replace CeeLo Green as a coach on the fall cycle of The Voice, NBC announced on March 31. Last spring, Williams served as a mentor on the singing competition for coach Usher. Green announced in February that he would not be returning to the show. The network will confirm the remainder of the coach line-up at a later date.

Josh Elliott is leaving ABC’s Good Morning America for a post at NBC Sports, it was announced on March 30. Elliott, who had been involved in a lengthy contract negotiation with ABC, will be replaced on GMA by Amy Robach. Robach is a familiar face to the show, serving as a correspondent and filling in for Robin Roberts while she was on leave for a bone marrow transplant. Elliott is the second GMA member to leave in the past four months. In December, weather anchor Sam Champion left for The Weather Channel.

Lorenzo Semple Jr., the creator of the 60s Batman TV series, has died at his Los Angeles home. He was 91. The Hollywood veteran died of natural causes on March 27. Semple also penned a number of films, including Papillon, Three Days of the Condor, Pretty Poison, Flash Gordon and Never Say Never Again. He most recently starred in the YouTube series “Reel Geezers”  with producer Marcia Nasatir.

Ray Kelly, a former NYPD commissioner, has been tapped as a consultant with ABC News, the company announced on March 27. Kelly, who served two, non-consecutive terms as commissioner, will consult across a variety of platforms for ABC News.

Cynthia McFadden has been named senior legal and investigative correspondent at NBC News, it was announced on March 26. McFadden spent the last 20 years at ABC News, where she had co-anchored Nightline for the last nine. After her departure was announced, ABC News named Juju Chang as McFadden’s Nightline replacement.

The FCC has appointed on March 26 David Gossett as acting deputy general counsel for litigation. Gossett previously served as assistant general counsel for litigation at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Noah Greenshner has been appointed VP of scripted development at Legendary Television, the company announced on March 26. Greenshner, who most recently was a producer at Closed on Mondays, will report to Peter Johnson, executive VP of scripted development.

Comcast Cable announced a variety of promotions on March 26. The appointments include: Eileen Diskin as VP of marketing communications, sales and marketing; Kavita Vazirani, senior VP of media strategy and sciences; Sara Gitchell as senior VP, deputy general counsel and chief counsel, content acquisition; Jeff Smith, senior VP, deputy general counsel, general operations; Adrian O’Leary as senior VP, test and quality assurance; Jason Press as senior VP, software engineering and operations; John Gibbs as senior VP, government affairs; Jeur Abeln as senior VP, procurement; and Jennifer Yohe Wagner as senior VP, procurement.

Molly McGrath has been tapped as news anchor for Fox Sports 1’s new hour-long show America’s Pregame.McGrath, who joined the network as a Fox Sports Live an update desk anchor and sideline reporter, will join show host Mike Hill when it premieres on April 7.

Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch, two of Fox founder Rupert Murdoch’s sons, were given new senior level posts at 21st Century Fox. Lachlan was appointed non-executive co-chairman of the company while James was upped to co-chief operating officer. The company also announced that Peter Rice had extended his contract as CEO of Fox Networks Group.

Bill Mondora has been tapped as VP and news director at KTTV Los Angeles. Mondora, who most recently served as director of news and administration at CBS Newspath, will start at the Fox affiliate on April 7. He reports to KTTV VP and General Manager Kevin Hale. He replaces Kingsley Smith, who left the station in October.

ESPN nabbed the most nominations for the 35th Annual Sports Emmy Awards. The network earned 30 nods in all. Fox came in second with 18 nominations, while HBO garnered 15 nods. NBC and NBCSN rounded out the top five each with 14 nods. Winners will be announced on May 6  at the Frederick P. Rose Hall in Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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