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Fates Roundup, Dec. 23, 2014 - Broadcasting & Cable

Fates Roundup, Dec. 23, 2014

GreatLand Connections hires three, former ABC Entertainment president Stoddard dies and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

Cable operator GreatLand Connections has added three new executive to its leadership team. Leonard Baxt will serve as executive VP, chief administrative and legal officer; Michele Roth as senior VP and chief human resources officer; and Keith Hall as executive VP for corporate affairs.

Former ABC Entertainment president Brandon Stoddard died of cancer Dec. 22. He was 77. The Television Academy Hall of Fame inductee, who joined ABC in 1970 and became president in 1985, launched a number of programs during his years at the helm, including landmark miniseries Roots.

Media General announced Dec. 22 the appointment of John McCarus as chief strategy officer for the multimedia company’s digital media business. McCarus, a pioneer of online video and the co-founder of the Digital Content Newfronts, will develop and implement strategy out of the company's New York office.

ABC News has named Kendis Gibson as a correspondent. Previously a weekend anchor and reporter at ABC affiliate WJLA-TV Washington, Gibson will work in New York for a few months before moving to the Washington bureau. ABC News president James Goldston announced the hire in a staff email Dec. 22.

Starting Jan. 5, Antoine Sanfuentes will head coverage of the White House and Congress at CNN as senior supervising producer. In his nearly 25-year career, Sanfuentes has worked at NBC as managing editor, Washington bureau chief, deputy bureau chief and White House producer.

NBCUniversal’s Hispanic Enterprises and Content announced Dec. 22 the promotion of Jeff Mayzurk to senior VP, operations and technology. Mayzurk, who previously served as senior VP, studio operations for NBCU’s operations and technical services division, will be tasked with developing and executing tech strategy across all business units.

After only seven months as Tribune Media’s senior VP of news, Katherine Green announced her resignation in a memo to group news directors, citing excessive travel as a factor. Green previously served as senior VP and managing editor of HLN at CNN Worldwide before joining Tribune in May.

Viacom announced Dec. 19 a four-year extension of Wade Davis’ employment deal, which now goes to 2018. Davis, the executive VP and chief financial officer, will receive an annual base salary of $1.35 million in addition to $2 million target annual cash bonus under the company's executive short-term incentive plan.

WAVY Norfolk’s executive producer Dana Brown Ritter is moving to WBTW Myrtle to serve as news director. Brown Ritter, who was previously a news producer at WAVY and, before that, a White House producer at the CBN News Washington bureau, begins at the Media General station, a CBS affiliate on Jan. 26.

ABC10/KGTV investigative journalist J.W. August will retire at the end of 2014. In 2006 by the National Society of Professional Journalist honored the 33-year veteran of the station with the prestigious Sunshine Award for his efforts on behalf of open government.

NATPE||Content First announced Dec. 18 that Jordan Ryder had been upped to VP, domestic and international programming, effective immediately. Ryder, who had been NATPE’s VP of event programming since 2010, will be tasked with bridging NATPE’s Miami and Europe conferences in the newly-created role.

Former CBS News executive Emerson Stone died from complications after a fall at his home in Greenwich, Conn. He was 86. Stone spent nearly 35 years with CBS before retiring in 1986. He is credited with producing the first live call-in radio show with a sitting U.S. President, Jimmy Carter in 1977.

Byron Pitts will be replacing Dan Abrams as co-anchor of the ABC late night newsmagazine Nightline. Abrams is stepping down to run his company Abrams Media. Pitts, most recently seen on the ABC News series Race.Justice.In America, has been ABC News’ chief national correspondent since 2013.

WMBF Myrtle Beach has named Sarah Miles, its news director since 2010, as the new VP and general manager of the Raycom Media station. Beginning in January, Miles, who previously spent eight years at WAVE Louisville, will take over for Ted Fortenberry, who moves to the top spot at sibling station WLBT Jackson, Miss.

Ross Video founder John Ross was awarded an Honorary Membership of the IABM, the International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers, on the second day of its annual business conference in London. On the first day, Ross took part in a panel discussion about technology and the pace of its change.

Wohler Technologies announced Dec. 18 that Kelly Fair had been appointed VP of sales. Fair, formerly the head of sales, North America, for Riedel Communications, will take the helm on Wohler’s baseband and stream-based products, working alongside RadiantGrid’s VP of sales Craig Newbury.

Starz announced Dec. 17 the promotions of Scott Barton, Amy Kline and Eric Neal to senior VP positions in the program planning department. Barton has been upped to senior VP, branded digital content and production, Kline to senior VP, programming operations/quality control and Neal to senior VP, program planning.

Two Tampa stations, Scripps’ WFTS and Gannett’s WTSP, have garnered duPont-Columbia awards for investigative work, as well as Gannett Broadcasting’s KPNX Phoenix and WLTX Columbia (S.C). The awards “honor excellence in broadcast and digital journalism produced for audiences in the United States by local stations, independent producers, networks and cable systems.”

The Writers Guild of America, West is awarding Shonda Rhimes the 2015 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement. Rhimes, the creator and writer of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, produces a full three-hour slate of ABC programming on Thursday nights, with How to Get Away with Murder joining the aforementioned pair.

Chris Regina has been elevated to senior VP of program strategy for Syfy and its sister network Chiller. Formerly Syfy’s senior VP of programming, Regina will be based in New York and lead both networks’ programming planning, original movie development, production and scheduling.

TV One has tapped Brad Siegel as president of the network. The veteran cable executive, who left his position as vice chairman at UP TV in October, will oversee daily business operations of the channel, owned by Radio One and Comcast, that is geared toward African Americans.

The CW Network has announced that George Lopez will be the inaugural host of “The World Dog Awards,” which premieres Jan. 15. The multi-talented comedian is known for his work on television, film and standup. The ceremony is looking to mix the allure of a Hollywood awards show with society’s love of dogs.

MTV executive VP of current series and programming Elli Hakami has announced four new hires. They are Kenda Greenwood as VP of unscripted development and production; Chelsea Friedland as senior director, development and production; Dane Reiley as senior director, unscripted comedy development and production; and Dan Caster as director of development and production.

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