Fates Roundup, June 16, 2015

James Murdoch to succeed father as 21st Century Fox CEO, AMC’s Joel Stillerman to oversee SundanceTV and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

Effective July 1, James Murdoch will succeed his father Rupert as CEO of 21st Century Fox. Rupert, the company’s founder, chairman and CEO, along with son Lachlan, currently cochairman, will become executive cochairmen. Fox confirmed June 16 but reports first surfaced last week.

Joel Stillerman, who has supervised AMC’s original programming efforts, will add SundanceTV to his oversight. Stillerman was named president of original programming for both networks. AMC chief Charlie Collier also appointed AMC Networks veteran Jan Diedrichsen executive director for SundanceTV.

Universal Television has tapped Mike Clements as its new executive VP of comedy development and Jim Donnelly as senior VP president, comedy development. Clements, who had been head of creative development and original programming at animation studio Bento Box, will report to Bela Bajaria.

Mireya Villarreal is joining CBS News as a correspondent, while Weijia Jiang will be a correspondent for CBS Newspath. Villarreal, a veteran investigative reporter, will join the network on July 20 based out of Los Angeles. Jiang, previously a general assignment reporter at WCBS-TV New York, will join CBS Newspath on July 6 based out of Washington, D.C.

Matt Zelesko is leaving Time Warner Cable to join Comcast in Philadelphia as senior VP, software development engineering. Zelesko, a top video and IP applications engineering exec at the New York-based operator, will start at Comcast sometime in July and help lead the MSO’s consumer applications team.

The Advertising Research Foundation honored CBS chief research officer David Poltrack with the Erwin Ephron Demystification Award on June 15. The award, named for media planning executive Erwin Ephron, recognizes those who exemplify his legacy in communicating complex insights and leading organizations.

Independent studio Entertainment One announced June 15 the appointment of Pancho Mansfield as president of global scripted programming for eOne Television. Mansfield, who had been executive producing series on A&E Networks and USA Networks, will supervise the studio’s original scripted programming.

Al Roker will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame June 23 at an event at the Conrad Hotel in New York. Roker, the Today show coanchor, started his broadcasting career as a weekend weatherman at WTVH Syracuse before working at WNBC New York and cohosting The Weather Channel’s Wake Up With Al.

Crown Media Family Networks announced June 15 it had named Maria Fischer and Chandler Hayes directors of network program publicity. The pair will work with the publicity team to develop and implement 360-degree media strategies geared toward increasing brand awareness, tune-in and ratings.

The Weather Company has hired Rhonda Bitterman as VP, agency partnerships and development. Rhonda Bitterman, who previously established Pandora Radio’s Agency Strategy practice, will supervise strategic agency and holding company partnerships in an effort to increase revenue growth and visibility.

BBC Worldwide North America has welcomed Susana Voets as VP, communications, for BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions. Voets, who spent 14 years in publicity at Sony Pictures Television, had been working independently as a publicity and talent relations consultant.

Matthew Neally is joining GPL Technologies, the provider of managed services and high performance IT solutions. Neally has more than 24 years of story and service industry experience, with past positions at Sun, NetApp, Insight Investment, Isilon and EMC.

Temple Street Media Ventures has hired Bryce Hunter as senior director, strategy and operations. Hunter, who had been producer of interactive at DHX media, will be tasked with fueling growth in Canadian and international markets with TSMV’s business heads of video, technology and brand marketing.

Dick Costolo announced June 11 that he will step down as CEO of Twitter on July 1. Chairman and cofounder Jack Dorsey will take the reins as interim chief executive while the company searches for a permanent replacement. Costolo, who took over as CEO in October of 2010, will continue to serve on Twitter’s Board of Directors.

KTNV-TV Las Vegas VP and GM Jim Prather announced the hiring of three new journalists to the Action News team. Mahsa Saeidi, previously at the Time Warner 24-hour news channel NY1, will serve as a general assignment reporter. Marissa Kynaston, formerly at ABC 57 WBND in South Bend, Ind, will serve as a reporter/multimedia journalist beginning Aug. 3. Stephanie Zepelin of KTVB in Boise joins the team as a franchise reporter.

Public Knowledge has announced its latest winners of the IP3 Awards. Shari Steele of the Electronic Frontier Foundation won for the information policy IP, Chip Pickering of COMPTEL for Internet protocol and Rebecca Tushnet from Georgetown Law for intellectual property. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will help hand out the awards Sept. 24.

Angelica Campos will be the new weeknight weather forecaster for KGTV/ABC10News San Diego. Campos, previously at Cleveland’s WJW-TV/Fox 8, started at 10News on June 15. She also worked for weather icon AccuWeather and has appeared on Fox News, Bloomberg and ABC World.

Exterity announced June 11 the hiring of Travis Anderson as country manager Australia and New Zealand. Anderson, who had former sales management posts at AVICO Electronics, Philips Electronics Australia and Sampford IXL, will help the enterprise IPTV technologies provider grow in the region.

Stefan Hadl has been tapped as director of engineering for Hearst Television’s WCVB-TV Channel 5. Effective June 29, Hadl takes over for Dave Kaylor at Boston’s top-rated local ABC affiliate. Kaylor was elevated to director of veteran recruiting for Hearst Television two weeks ago.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has named Letitia King senior VP of corporate communications. King, who had been serving as director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, will lead external and internal communications for CPB. She was with BBC for the last 15 years. Her last day was June 11.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, David Nevins will take over the role of CEO of Showtime Networks. Matt Blank, the CEO since 1995 who made the announcement June 11, will stay on as chairman. Nevins, whose contract has been extended through 2018, will oversee all business functions in addition to his current programming oversight.

Rupert Murdoch is planning to hand his position as CEO of 21st Century Fox to his son James. Rupert, 84, would continue as the giant media company’s executive chairman. His other son Lachlan would become executive cochairman. Meanwhile, Chase Carey is expected to leave his chief operating officer post.

Otter Media CEO Virasb Vahidi has departed the online video joint venture, which was formed in April 2014 by The Chernin Group and AT&T. Otter Media is not expected to search for a successor to Vahidi, who became CEO last fall.

Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic (DLA/USH) announced June 10 the appointment of Allan Navarrete as general manager and Angela Recio Sondon as VP of content for its U.S. Hispanic division. Navarrete is based out of Mexico City, while Sondon is based out of Miami.

Kantar Media has welcomed Nathalie Zimmerman-Nénon to the company as managing director of its global Sport business. Zimmerman-Nénon has more than 25 years of international experience, including stints at M6 Group and Sportfive International.

The Board of Governors of the American Society of Cinematographers re-elected its officers for another term. Richard Crudo will continue as president; Owen Roizman, Kees Van Oostrum and Lowell Peterson as VPs; Matthew Leonetti as treasurer; Fred Goodich as secretary; and Isidore Mankofsky as sergeant-at-arms.

Scripps Networks Latin America elevated two executives — Adriana Alcântara to VP of marketing and production and Claudia Clauhs to VP of programming for the division.. Both jobs are based in São Paulo and report to Márcio Fonseca, managing director, Scripps Networks Latin America.

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