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Fates Roundup, Feb, 24, 2015 - Broadcasting & Cable

Fates Roundup, Feb, 24, 2015

ESPN suspends Olbermann, NBC extends Salke’s contract and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

As a result of his tweets about Penn State students, ESPN host Keith Olbermann has been suspended for a week. He will not host his afternoon ESPN2 show Olbermann for the remainder of the week. He is the latest ESPN employee to be suspended after Bill Simmons and Stephen A. Smith were last year.

NBC has renewed entertainment president Jennifer Salke’s contract. Salke, who joined NBC from 20th Century Fox TV, has helped bring in hits like The Blacklist and Chicago Fire. Last season, NBC won the adults 18-49 demo for the first time in a decade.

Starz has upped Alison Hoffman to executive VP of marketing. Hoffman, who served as VP of creative and brand marketing at AMC Networks before joining Starz in 2012, will remain in charge of marketing strategy and planning for original productions. In addition, she will lead the network’s consumer and affiliate marketing.

American Horror Story actor Ben Woolf, who was hit by a car in Hollywood on Feb. 19 week, died of a stroke on Feb. 24. He was 34. Woolf worked as a preschool teacher in addition to his acting on the FX show.

Orad has added Matthew Clayton to the company as field sales engineer. Clayton, who has more than 25 years of broadcast industry experience, including stints at Pixel Power, Miranda and Pinnacle Systems, will help with sales efforts, such as demos, system configurations and live production support.

CBS Network Sales announced Feb. 24 a half dozen senior executive promotions. Matthew Sautner has been upped to senior VP of primetime sales; Joseph Mina to VP, primetime sales; Robert Malmgren to senior VP, CBS Sports sales; Jared Zerman to senior VP, daytime sales; David Sherman to VP of news and late night sales; and Chad Glennon to director of NFL sales.

Paul Napier, the former actor and SAG-AFTRA negotiator who cofounded the Screen Actors Guild Awards show, died. He was 84. He appeared in more than 400 commercials and served on the AFTRA board for nearly three decades. He joined the SAG board in 1979, serving on the negotiating committee for national contracts.

Brad Schwartz has gained oversight of business operations as the new president of Pop. He was previously president of media and entertainment, initially for TV Guide Network, Pop’s predecessor. David Wisnia, who had been Pop’s president of business operations, is leaving his position.

KTTV Los Angeles general manager Kevin Hale is retiring after 18 years with Fox Television Stations. He took the helm on the Fox-owned KTTV-KCOP station in April 2004 following stints as general manager at KSAZ Phoenix and WHBQ Memphis. Fox Television Stations has not

A&E named Rob Sharenow executive VP and general manager, the network announced Feb. 23. Sharenow, who has been with the company for 15 years, will continue his duties as executive VP and GM of A&E’s sister network Lifetime. He takes over for David McKillop, who is leaving his A&E post to return to producing.

Scripps Networks Interactive has elevated Jon Steinlauf to president of national ad sales and marketing. Steinlauf, who has been with the company since 2000, takes over for Steve Gigliott, who was promotedi to chief revenue officer. Gigliotti, who had been president of national ad sales and marketing, will oversee ad revenue and content distribution.

Joe Clayton is retiring from his role as CEO of Dish Network on March 31, the company said Feb. 23. Clayton, who joined Dish in June 2011, had been leading its day-to-day operations. Dish is the second largest satellite TV service provider. Clayton will be replaced by Dish chairman Charlie Ergen.

ABC has elevated Robert Mills to head of unscripted programming. The new title for Mills, who had been a VP in alternative programming, is senior VP, alternative series, special and late-night programming, ABC Entertainment. Mills will report to ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee.

Eileen O’Neill is departing Discovery Communications after 25 years. Last year she was given the assignment of running Discovery’s studio operations but took a long leave at the end of year and has decided not to return.

Harris Wittels, an executive producer on Parks and Recreation, was found dead in Los Angeles Feb. 19. He was 30. The LAPD responded to a 911 call around noon reporting a possible drug overdose at Wittels’ home, where he was found by his assistant. Wittels also wrote and produced TV shows Eastbound & Down, The Sarah Silverman Program and Human Giant.

KFMB San Diego sports director Kyle Kraska, who was shot six times outside his home Feb. 10, was released from the hospital. Kraska underwent multiple surgeries, according to cbs8.com. Mike Montana, the suspect, pled not guilty upon his arraignment Feb. 17 for attempted murder.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers on Feb. 19 upped Lynne Lummel to executive VP. Lummel, formerly senior VP of distribution and repertory for the association, will lead the new transformation management office while working to help propel initiatives for ASCAP’s members and licensing partners.

Lisa Ammerman will serve as CBS’ VP of talent booking, coordinating publicity opportunities for the company’s talent throughout the network’s variety of programs and platforms. Ammerman was a senior segment producer for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and a casting producer and producer on several others.

Willinger Talent Agency announced several client moves. Jennifer Lahmers joined WNYW Fox 5 New York as a reporter, Kacey Montoya joined KTLA Los Angeles officially as a staff reporter and Kelli O’Hara joined WHDH Boston as a reporter. In addition, Malini Basu left Houston for a reporting job at WFXT Boston, Justin Rose landed at WXYZ Detroit as a sports reporter and Leticia Castro arrived at KXTV Sacramento as a weather anchor. Finally, Leslie Mayes and Josh Helmuth will be reporters at WVIT Hartford and KSHB Kansas City, respectively.

Disney Channels Worldwide has promoted Sean Cocchia to executive VP, business operations and general manager. Cocchia had been senior VP and general manager since 2011 and an employee of Walt Disney Company since 1998. His responsibilities include overseeing strategy and operations in addition to franchise and brand management groups.

Viacom’s cable networks are being split into two groups, CEO Philippe Dauman announced Feb. 19. The Viacom Music and Entertainment Group will include MTV, MTV2, Logo, VH1, Comedy Central and Spike. The Viacom Kids and Family Group will consist of Nickelodeon Group channels as well as TV Land, CMT and CMT Pure Country.

TV Land president Larry Jones is stepping down from his role, as Viacom’s TV networks undergo a reorganization. Jones made the announcement Feb. 18 in an email to staff. It comes just a day after the news of Van Toffler’s departure as president of Viacom’s music and Logo group.

Legendary Television has named Lauren Heller Whitney president of scripted television. The longtime television agent at WME will report to Legendary president of television and media Bruce Rosenblum.  Legendary also extended scripted executive VP Peter Johnson’s contract through 2017.

Riedel Communications has hired Maribel Roman as sales manager for Spain. Roman, who has more than seven years of experience in the broadcasting market, including a stint with Spanish AV broadcasting equipment provider KROMA, will have a focus on Portugal, Italy and Greece in addition to Spain.

WXIX Cincinnati has appointed Debbie Bush VP and general manager of the Raycom Media owned Fox affiliate. Bush, who also ran Raycom’s KOLD Tucson and WFIE Evansville, had previous stints in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Santa Barbara, Wichita, Topeka and Cedar Rapids.

Showtime announced Feb. 18 that Craig Platt had been hired as senior VP, creative advertising, and Emily Gould had been upped to senior VP, consumer marketing. Platt will be tasked with creating stylistic direction for a variety of campaigns, while Gould will supervise consumer marketing strategy.

MSNBC announced Feb. 18 that award-winning chef Tom Colicchio will serve as the network’s first-ever food correspondent across all platforms. He will make regular reports on MSNBC daytime and primetime shows, including Morning Joe and The Rachel Maddow Show and host a new weekly food show on Shift.

Tennis Channel has upped Allison Bodenmann to VP, head of advertising sales, effective immediately. In her new role, Bodenmann will manage staff in the New York office, supervise executive accounts and coordinate between the ad sales team and the corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.

Tribune Broadcasting has tapped Bart Feder as senior VP of news. The former CNN senior VP of current programming will supervise news operations and production for Tribune’s 42 stations. Feder, who left CNN in spring of 2013 after five years at the network, previously was chairman and CEO of The FeedRoom.

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