Fates Roundup, April 14, 2015

Adhikari joins ‘CBS Evening News,’ NAMIC to honor Stuart Scott and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

Brinda Adhikari will begin serving as senior producer with CBS Evening News on April 20. Adhikari had been at ABC News for the last 12 years, most recently as coordinating producer for World News Tonight, where she managed daily editorial content as well as the “Person of the Week” feature.

The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) will recognized Stuart Scott posthumously with the 2015 Mickey Leland Humanitarian Achievement Award. Scott, the legendary ESPN anchor, died of cancer in January. The award will be given out during NAMIC’s May 7 breakfast at the INTX show.

Knoxville’s WBIR-TV 10 News has tapped Martha Jennings as news director. Jennings, who became assistant news director last November, was elevated to interim news director in December. Jennings previously served as executive nightside producer for WFLA-TV Tampa.

PCIA: The Wireless Infrastructure Association has appointed Matt Mandel to the new position of head of legislative affairs. Mandel, who had been with independent public policy advocacy company Glover Park Group, previously served as legislative director for former Florida Republican Cliff Stearns.

Nielsen announced April 13 that it has welcomed Harish Peri to the company as senior VP of product marketing across its ratings and planning products. Peri, who had been serving as senior director of product marketing and solutions at Salesforce.com, will work on Nielsen’s Reach product marketing strategy and execution.

Vinnie Curren is retiring from his post as chief operating officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on July 15. Curren, who joined CPB in 2002 from noncommercial WXPN-FM Philadelphia, has been COO since 2006. Steven Altman, senior VP, business affairs, will serve as acting COO of CPB.

CBS Corp. CEO and president Leslie Moonves announced April 13 that Andre Fernandez has been named president of CBS Radio. Fernandez, who will begin next week and be based out of New York, will supervise the direction and management of 117 stations in 26 major markets. He was previously COO of Journal Communications.

FremandleMedia North America announced April 13 the executive team for its launch of Buzzr. Mark Deetjen will be serving as VP of programming and operations, Jaime Klein as VP of creative services, Kiesha McCorry as VP of marketing and Marissa Mongiello as VP of traffic.

A+E Networks has launched its new brand Asterisk. Dan Suratt, executive VP, digital media and business development, made the announcement April 13. Asterisk explores culture through history, telling stories with video, photos, articles, lists, gifs, Vines and more.

Jim Berk is stepping down from his position as Participant Media CEO, effective immediately, the company announced April 10. Jeff Skoll, the founder and chairman, will serve as interim CEO of Participant Media, which owns TV network Pivot, while it searches for a permanent replacement.

Cable industry pioneer Wendell Woody died April 8 in North Kansas City, Mo. He was 80. Woody, a past president and 11-year board member of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, worked in sales, management and as a consultant with Jerrold Electronics, Catel, Antec, Sprint North Supply and Monroe Electronics.

Barclays Center affiliate Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment is undergoing a restructuring of its staff within its programming department. Prudential Center’s Tim Kemp has been hired as director of booking; Hartman Arena’s James Snodgrass has joined as manager of sports programming. The department’s leadership team includes Keith Sheldon, Jordan Harding and Ed Manetta.

Red Wagon Entertainment has upped Charlie Morrison to VP. Coheads Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher announced the promotion April 9. Morrison, who previously worked at the BBC and Temple Hill, joined Red Wagon Entertainment in 2012 as a creative executive. He coproduced Insurgent, which opened No. 1 last week.

Starz announced a trio of promotions April 9. Eric Becker, a 16-year veteran of the company, was upped to senior VP, corporate communications. Shannon Buck, who oversees publicity campaign strategy, was elevated to senior VP, programming publicity. Colleen Curtis, who joined Starz last year, is now senior VP, consumer and digital publicity.

Panasas has named David Sallak VP of industry marketing. Sallak, who most recently worked at EMC Isilon as chief technology officer for media and entertainment, will be tasked with increasing market penetration of the company’s high-performance storage solutions in vertical target markets.

Monroe Electronics and its Digital Alert Systems subsidiary announced April 9 the selection of Antony Harris as director of software development. Harris, previously the principal of Prominence Group, works with the management team in creating and maintaining code base for products present and future.

Legendary CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer is set to retire this summer. Schieffer, who has been with CBS News for 46 years, made the announcement April 8 at TCU. A 2013 National Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame inductee, Schieffer has been the network’s Chief Washington Correspondent since 1982 and hosted Face the Nation since 1991.

Liz Gateley is returning to Lifetime, this time as executive VP, head of programming. Rob Sharenow, executive VP and general manager of Lifetime and A&E, made the announcement April 8. Gateley, who previously worked in development at the network, will lead creation of Lifetime content, such as movies, scripted series and non-fiction.

Chris Applebaum has joined Los Angeles–based strategic consultancy and media production company Wondros. The director has produced Carl’s Jr. commercials as well as music videos for artists like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus.

Volicon announced April 8 the appointment of Mark Rushton as director of broadcast sales for the Western U.S. Rushton, previously VP of sales at Roundbox and senior director of broadcast sales at Triveni Digital, will expand direct and channel sales for Volicon’s enterprise media intelligence applications.

Russ McCaskey will serve as coanchor of the CBS 11 News This Morning, beginning June 1. McCaskey, who has been KJRH Tulsa’s 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news anchor, joins Karen Borta at CBS. McCaskey previously served as news anchor and reporter for KWTV in Oklahoma City.

NESN has added Neal Scarbrough as senior director of network and technical operations. Scarbrough joins NESN from Al Jazeera America, where he served as senior executive producer/sports.

Weigel Broadcast has hired Steve Farber, the senior VP of operations at Tribune. Farber, who will have the same title at Weigel and start April 20, will supervise WCIU Chicago and Weigel’s digital network operations. He previously served as acting general manager of WGN Chicago and general manager/news director of cable net CLTV.

Spike TV announced April 8 the hiring of Chachi Senior as senior VP of original series. Senior, who previously served as CEO of Ardaban and copresident of IAC’s Notional, will oversee the daily activities of Spike’s non-scripted development team.

ARRI Inc. announced April 8 the appointment of Randy Read as specifications sales manager for lighting. Read, who arrives with more than 20 years of experience as a lighting director, designer and manager in broadcasting and theater, will build and manage a network of representatives to design and install ARRI lighting products at TV studios.

Reena Ninan will serve as co-anchor of ABC News’ America This Morning and World News Now. Ninan, who joins T.J. Holmes at the anchor desk of both programs, joined ABC News in 2012 at its Washington, D.C. bureau, having previously served as Fox News Channel’s Middle East correspondent.

BBC America has tapped Courtney Thomasma as VP, research. Thomasma, previously the VP of research for AMC Networks, will be tasked with generating and implementing ongoing research strategies for BBC America content. She will continue to report to AMC’s senior VP of research Tom Ziangas.

Media180 has named company cofounder Eric DuFosse as executive consultant. DuFosse, a 30-year veteran in the broadcast industry, will support the growth of consulting services, planning and education of in-house media professionals throughout the continent.

Gerry Nazimek has joined FOR-A America as Northeast Account manager. Nazimek, based out of the company’s office in Fort Lee, N.J., has more than 30 years of experience in the AV and broadcast TV industry. He previously served as a regional sales manager in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada for PureLink.

Leonard Firestone, the longtime syndication salesman, died March 4. He was 93. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native and World War II veteran served as national sales manager of Unity Television, distributing theatrical films to TV stations. He also distributed first TV programming at Ziv Television.

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