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Fates Roundup, Jan. 20, 2015 - Broadcasting & Cable

Fates Roundup, Jan. 20, 2015

Lack sworn in as CEO of Broadcasting Board of Governors, FOX Sports 1 and 2 start talent relations department and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

Andrew Lack, the former NBC News chief, was sworn in as CEO and director of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on Jan. 20. At the federal agency’s new post, Lack will oversee Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Martí, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

With the increased roster of on-air personalities since the launch of FOX Sports 1 and 2, general manager and COO David Nathanson announced Jan. 20 the establishment of a talent relations and development department. Leading the new group will be George Greenberg, FOX Sports’ executive VP, content integration and presentation.

WEVV Evansville has tapped Jeffrey Fisher as its new general manager. Fisher joins the CBS and Fox affiliate in DMA No. 103 after serving as director of sales at Nexstar-Mission rival WEHT-WTVW since 2005. WEVV in 2011 took over the Fox affiliation from WTVW after an affiliation dispute between Nexstar and Fox.

Leftfield executive and producer Jordana Hochman is joining Loud Television’s programming team as senior VP, programming. Loud TV president Nick Rigg made the announcement Jan. 20. Hochman will continue serving as executive producer on select projects at sister company Leftfield Pictures.

KCEN Waco meteorologist Patrick Crawford returned to the air on Jan. 19, about a month after being shot in the station parking lot. Crawford was surprised with t-shirts featuring the Superman logo in the front and “Crawford Strong” on the back, courtesy of the station crew.

NBCUniversal announced Jan. 20 that Gina LaRussa had been upped to senior VP of human resources, advertising sales. LaRussa, who joined NBCUniversal in 2013 and oversaw the launch of the advertising sales department’s NBCUniversity, will continue to report to advertising sales and client partnerships chairman Linda Yaccarino.

Former CBS Network president of affiliate relations Diana Wilkin is the new partner at Patrick Communications, the Maryland-based media brokerage and investment banking firm. Wilkins’ more than 20 years of experience includes stints as VP and general manager at WPEC West Palm Beach and as senior executive at Fox.

Simulmedia, Inc., the company that helps advertisers and agencies find targeted TV audiences, announced two promotions on Jan. 19. Nick Donahue and Lauren Fry have been elevated from account executives to senior account executives.

Former Internet sensation and well-known MMA name Kimbo Slice has signed an exclusive, multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA. Kimbo Slice, who announced the signing on Spike TV, is set to make his promotional debut later this year.

Fox’s reality chief Simon Andreae is leaving the network, as producer Corie Henson will become the new head of scripted. Andreae oversaw the development of Utopia, the heavily-promoted series that was quickly cancelled by Fox. Henson most recently served as executive VP of unscripted television at Electus.

Orad North America has promoted Bob Valinski and Colin Sye. Valinski, a veteran sales executive, will serve as director of sales, North America. Sye, who had worked as Orad’s North American field support engineer, will be the market development manager for Canada.

NBC has found its new boss for the Today show in Noah Oppenheim. The former senior producer of the morning show is now senior VP and executive in charge of the program. The hire basically fills the void left following the firing of former general manager Jamie Horowitz.

Viacom has extended its contract with CEO Philippe Dauman through Dec. 31, 2018. Dauman’s stint as CEO, which began in 2006, was originally set to end at the end of 2016. His base salary will stay the same under the new agreement.

UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television dean Teri Schwartz announced Jan. 15 that Jim Berk had been named executive board chair. Berk, a member of the committee since 2009, serves as CEO of global entertainment company Participant Media.

Vubiquity has named Michele Edelman executive VP of marketing and communications. Formerly VP, worldwide direct to consumer marketing in Warner Bros. Studios’ home entertainment division, replaces Laurie Lawrence, who departed the multiplatform video specialist last summer.

The Motion Picture Association of America has tapped Stan McCoy as president of its European/Middle East, Africa (EMEA) region. McCoy, EMEA’s senior VP and regional policy director since April 2014, takes over for Chris Marcich, who had led the regional office since 1995.

Liberty Global’s executive VP and CTO Balan Nair has been chosen as co-chair of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ Energy 2020 initiative. Nair will take the helm and work with John Schanz, the executive VP and chief network officer of Comcast Cable.

Women in Cable Telecommunications appointed its new directors. Martha Soehren, the chief talent development officer and senior VP at Comcast University and Comcast Cable, will be chair for a two-year term, while outgoing chair Mary Meduski transitions to immediate past chair.

The first round of presenters for the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced Jan. 14. They include TV nominees Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts and Matt McGorry, who will also serve as the evening’s social media host.

Eastern has hired Simon McKeown as senior VP, development, the company announced Jan. 14. In addition, Jillian Brand and Gregg Lieberman have both been elevated to VP, development, while Lisa LeeKing has been upped to VP, casting.

National Geographics Channels CEO Courteney Monroe announced Jan. 14 the appointment of Brenda Freeman as chief marketing officer for National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. Freeman previously served as global head of television marketing for DreamWorks Animation.

Discovery Communications on Jan. 14 announced two new executive hires. Jean-Thierry Augustin has been named president, sports strategy and development at Discovery Networks International, while Peter Hutton has been named chief executive officer of Eurosport.

TV business lawyer Doug Jacobs is moving to the law firm Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard as a partner. Jacobs, who previously served as general counsel for Court TV, VP of CBS Sports and VP and deputy general counsel at CBS, had been the general counsel of A+E Network until retiring last year.

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