Fates Roundup, Jan. 27, 2015

Pastor named executive VP at Discovery Channel, Morayniss extends deal as eOne CEO and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

Discovery Channel president Rich Ross announced Jan. 27 the hiring of Paul Pastor as executive VP of network strategy, revenue and operations. Pastor, a former executive at Disney, will be responsible for business strategy as well as working with ad sales, finance, distribution and digital departments.

Entertainment One Television’s CEO John Morayniss has signed a new deal to remain head of the studio’s TV business through 2018. Morayniss joined eOne when it acquired Blueprint Entertainment in 2008; since that time, eOne Television has increased its revenue from $100 million to more than $300 million.

Stephanie Wolf has joined Steve Rotfeld Productions (SRP) as director of development, Steve Rotfeld, president of the television production company announced Jan. 27. Wolf, who previously spent six years at the National Geographic Channel, will be tasked with developing content for primetime and daytime television.

Visual effects and design company Artemple-Hollywood has tapped Karin Levinson as executive VP, features and television. Principal and creative director Wei Zheng made the announcement Jan. 27. Levinson, previously an executive VP at Gravity, will handle all of the company’s marketing and PR efforts.

WBAL Baltimore has tapped Tim Tunison as its news director. Tunison, an Annapolis native who had been assistant news director of the NBC affiliate since 2005, will take over for Michelle Butt, who was recently named president and general manager of Hearst TB sibling WXII in WInston-Salem.

Video delivery infrastructure provider Harmonic announced Jan. 27 the appointment of Dario Choi as regional VP of sales for the Asia-Pacific region. Choi, who has more than 20 years of experience in the field, comes from Avid Technology, where he had been serving as VP, Asia-Pacific region.

Vancouver-based animation studio Rainmaker Entertainment has upped Kylie Ellis to VP of production at the television division MainFrame Entertainment. The announcement was made Jan. 27 by Kim Dent Wilder, senior VP of production and operations. Ellis, previously the director of production, will report to Wilder.

Liz Alderman and Brandy Crawford have been added to the development team of Tremendous! Entertainment, the company announced Jan. 26. Alderman, formerly at Soshefeigh Media, will serve as director of development, while Crawford, previously at the History Channel, will serve as senior manager of development.

Fox Networks Group announced Jan. 26 that Bruce Lefkowitz had been upped to executive VP, advertising sales, making him the No. 2 executive in the organization. Lefkowitz, who had previously been executive VP, advertising sales for Fox Cable Entertainment, will oversee sales offices in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles.

A former Fox station employee, identified by multiple reports as Phillip Perea of Irving, Texas, shot and killed himself Jan. 26 outside of the headquarters for News Corporation and 21st Century Fox in New York, Fox TV Stations confirmed. Perea worked at KTBC in Austin but left the station last June.

Fullscreen announced two new hires, Kevin McGurn and Maureen Polo, on Jan. 26. McGurn will serve as head of sales, while Polo will be general manager; both will work from the global youth media company’s New York City office, now the company’s sales headquarters.

At the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Jan. 25, Netflix led all networks with three wins. The cast of Orange Is the New Black won for best ensemble in a comedy series, with Uzo Aduba picking up the award for best actress in a comedy. House of Cards’ Kevin Spacey was honored as best actor in TV drama series.

Joe Franklin, a pioneer of the modern television talk-show format, died Jan. 24 in New York City. He was 88. He started his career in radio, before moving to TV; he was at WOR-TV for more than three decades. He had the longest continuous TV talk show in history.

WSET Roanoke has promoted George Kayes to general manager of the station. Keyes had been general sales manager of the Sinclair-owned ABC affiliate. From 2002-05, Kayes served as national sales manager and local sales manager at Sinclair’s WRLH Richmond before a stint as local sales manager at WHAS Louisville from 2005-06.

The FCC’s new advisor to chairman Tom Wheeler is Louisa Terrell, who most recently served as chief of staff to Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Terrell, a former special assistant to the President for legislative affairs who also previously served as director of policy for Facebook, will be work as a liaison with federal agencies.

Susan Spencer has been appointed senior VP of media & brand management of the Television Academy. The former head of marketing for DreamWorks Animation SKG, Spencer will take the helm on brand management, marketing and PR in addition to other responsibilities for the Television Academy’s media platforms.

John Walsh, ESPN’s longtime executive VP, is set to retire next month after 26 years with the company. Walsh, the executive editor since 1990 who oversaw the launch of ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine, is considered among the most influential executive’s in ESPN’s 35 years.

CatholicTV announced that Natalie White has joined the CatholicTV Network as coordinator of public relations. Helen C. Lee, the social media manager who was appointed to the new position as director of digital content, will report to executive VP and general manager Jay Fadden.

Fox has tapped Rachel Rusch to be its new VP of event series. Rusch, who previously worked with Fox entertainment president David Madden when both were at Fox Television Studios, will supervise Fox’s limited-run and live-event programming, working with Fox’s 20th Century Fox TV and FX Productions in addition to outside studios.

Influential children’s television activist Peggy Charren died Jan. 22. She was 86. Charren founded Action for Children’s Television in 1960 to lobby for more educational shows and fewer ads for sugary foods and toys based on cartoon characters. Her organization led to the Children’s Television Act being passed as law in 1990.

Syfy announced Jan. 22 that Andie Beckerman had been named VP, alternative development and production. Beckerman, who most recently was AMC’s director of development for original unscripted programming, will be tasked with developing unscripted series for Syfy.

TV clip-sharing mobile app Whipclip has snagged former Hulu head of originals Charlotte Koh to be its senior VP, content and partnerships. Koh, a 2014 recipient of B&C and Multichannel News’ Women’s Digital Leadership Award, will be responsible for content strategy, operations and acquisitions.

True Entertainment has promoted Jo Honig to executive VP of development and appointed Bryan Hale senior VP and head of west coast development. Steven Weinstock and Glenda Hersh, the founders and CEOs of the New York-based company, made the announcement on Jan. 22.

CNN International has elevated Petra Malenicka to senior VP, advertising sales, Europe and the Americas. Malenicka, who has led CNN’s Western Europe advertising sales since 2013, will have new responsibilities in North America and Latin America to be delivered across various CNN platforms.

Cablevision Systems Corporation announced Jan. 21 that Bret Richter had been upped to executive VP, corporate finance and development, while former Scientific Games VP Cindi Buckwalter had been hired as senior VP, investor relations. Richter was previously senior VP, financial strategy and development.

Matthew Kelly and Michael Sorensen are set to lead Discovery Channel’s new New York-based production unit. The two, both VPs of development and production at Discovery’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., will oversee unscripted programming for the division.

Jennifer Dorian will be the new general manager for Turner Classic Movies, the network said Jan. 22. The former chief strategy officer for Turner Entertainment Networks will be tasked with expanding the TCM classic movies brand, from cross-platform opportunities to brand extensions.

The Association of Public Television Stations has elevated Kate Riley to VP of government and public affairs. Formerly VP of government relations, Riley will lead congressional relations and work with federal agencies in the role, part of a new association-wide strategic focus.

Trade association TVB has appointed Dispatch Broadcast Group’s CEO and vice chairman Michael Fiorile as its new chairman for 2015-16. Fiorile, who had been on the TVB board since 2006 and president and CO of The Dispatch Printing Company since 2013, takes over for Bill Fine, the president and general manager of WCVB Boston.

Eyeworks USA cofounder JD Roth is leaving his role as co-CEO of the unscripted production company. Roth will continue producing projects for the company, which announced Jan. 21 that it was rebranding itself as 3 Ball Entertainment. Former COO Ross Weintraub will become co-CEO, joining cofounder Todd A. Nelson.

The second round of presenters for the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced Jan. 21. They include TV nominees Adrien Brody, Laverne Cox and Viola Davis in addition to Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eric Dane, Felicity Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Eddie Redmayne, Tony Revolori and J.K. Simmons.

Advanced Systems Group has added Tim Gross to its technical team, effective Nov. 3, the Data, video, audio and film integration firm announced Jan. 20. A former senior systems administrator at The Orphanage in San Francisco, Gross will be tasked with maintaining IT systems for various ASG clients.

Broadcast Pix announced Jan. 20 that it had elevated Chuck Williamson to region sales manager, effective Jan. 1. Since 2011, Williamson had been senior sales engineer. His new responsibilities include handling sales for western United States and western Canada.

Televisa USA announced Jan. 20 that it had tapped Chris Philip to head its new global distribution and production unit. Philip joins the division of Mexican media and telecommunications corporation Grupo Televisa, S.A.B. to help develop new series in the U.S. and supervise worldwide sales of Televisa USA content.

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