Fates Roundup, March 17, 2015

MTV names Dolgen head of reality programming, Cohen joins UTA and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

MTV announced March 17 that Lauren Dolgen has been tapped as head of reality programming and executive VP of series development. Dolgen, who had been head of West Coast reality and executive VP of series development, will supervise development and strategy for the network’s reality programming.

Neil A. Cohen is joining UTA as an agent in the alternative TV department. The former senior VP of talent and production for A&E Network will be based in the agency’s New York office and represent producers and talent across cable, network and original OTT television.

Rovi Corporation announced March 17 the hiring of Dave Longaker as chief revenue officer. Longaker, who had been senior VP of sales at Alcatel-Lucent, will be tasked with increasing Rovi’s global revenue throughout discovery, monetization and intellectual property product lines.

The Weather Company has promoted Lauren Frasca to VP of original programming. Frasca, who was previously senior director of original programming, will supervise daily development, production and scheduling operations for the network’s original programming. She will continue to report to senior VP, original programming Michael Rubin.

Host and executive producer of the Bravo talk show Watch What Happens Live Andy Cohen will produce his own 24/7 SiriusXM channel, Radio Andy. He will curate the channel in addition to hosting a weekly radio show. Both will launch later this year.

Entertainment advertising and marketing agency Buddha Jones has tapped Scott Carson as head of video game marketing. Carson, who had been VP, creative director at Ant Farm’s video game marketing division, will be tasked with rebooting the Buddha Jones’ marketing efforts for video games.

Elmira-Corning, N.Y. station WETM has tapped Marci Daniels as VP and general manager. Effective immediately, Daniels, the former general sales manager of WEYI-WBSF Flint, Mich., will report to Nexstar Broadcasting senior VP Bill Sally.

Michael Snyder has joined marketing and ad agency D4 Creative as chief strategy officer and senior VP of account services. Snyder, who has worked at IMAGE, Interactive Meet & Greet Entertainment and, most recently, at Veria Living as chief marketing officer, will be responsible for powering agency growth at D4 Creative.

On-demand TV software and solutions provider Espial has chosen Jeffrey Huppertz to be its new VP of marketing and business development. Huppertz, a 2011 Cable TV Pioneer who had been SeaWell Networks’ senior VP, business and corporate development, will be tasked with creating strategic partnerships and customer relationships.

NewBay Media has restructured its television division across Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News, Next TV and Ratings Intelligence. Melissa Grego will transition from editor-in-chief of B&C to consulting editor, with executive editor Dade Hayes becoming editor. Mark Robichaux will serve as editorial director of the TV sector brands.

Charlie Corwin and Cris Abrego, the cochairmen and coCEOs of Endemol Shine Group North America, announced March 16 that the company has finished the restructuring of its executive organization. That includes Endemol North America COO Ben Samke keeping the same title with the new company, and Eden Gaha heading unscripted TV as president.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will honor Betty White with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. The ceremony will be telecast live on Pop on April 26. In her illustrious career, White has won seven Emmys, the first in 1952 and most recent in 2010.

MediaVest has named Carrie Seifer as president, digital, data and technology, the company announced March 16. Seifer, who has more than 20 years of experience at startups and large media companies, had been senior VP, strategy, at Millennial Media. She will be based in MediaVest’s New York City headquarters.

The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival will air an advance screening of the new season of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer. A conversation with Schumer and crew members will follow the sneak peak on April 19. As part of the same Tribeca Talks panel conversations, Netflix’s Chef’s Table will premiere on April 25.

Newtec announced March 17 the hiring of Kevin McCarthy as VP of market development. The maritime satellite communications industry veteran joins the company, which designs, develops and manufactures equipment and technology for satellite communications, after 15 years at MTN Satellite Communications.

Tad Smith, the CEO of Madison Square Garden Co., is departing the company to fill the same role of auction house Sotheby’s. He will start in the new position March 31. While MSG’s search for a replacement is underway, executive chairman James Dolan will supervise the company’s media, sports and entertainment businesses.

Television advertising firm Simulmedia announced March 16 the appointment of Lori O’Connor as general manager, entertainment. O’Connor, who had been publisher of TV Guide Magazine, will stand for Simulmedia’s advantages for TV advertisers, especially movie studios.

The Committee to Project Journalists on March 15 tweeted the names of every journalist who had been killed in the four years since the Syrian uprising began. The list contained the names of 81 journalists, making it the second deadliest conflict only to the Iraq War since the CPJ started keeping track in 1992.

SeaChange International, Inc. announced March 13 that Rafael Castillo will be the multiscreen innovator’s new VP of Latin American sales. Castillo comes with more than 20 years of industry experience in the region, including a post as senior VP Latin America and the Caribbean for Grass Valley.

Kathy Griffin announced March 12 on Twitter that she is leaving E!’s Fashion Police. Tapped to take the place of Joan Rivers, who died last September, Griffin appeared in seven episodes. Her departure comes two weeks after cohost Kelly Osbourne quick the show after fellow host Giuliana Rancic made comments about Zendaya.

Irdeto has named Doug Lowther as its new CEO, effective April 1. Former CEO Graham Kill had resigned previously. Lowther, who had been CEO of International Datacasting Corporation and, before that, executive VP of Irdeto’s Digital TV business, will be responsible for improving the company’s position in providing solutions for pay TV operators, OTT providers and content owners.

Deluxe Creative Services CEO Stefan Sonnenfeld announced March 12 two promotions. Former senior VP for operations Morgan Strauss will serve as managing director of Encore, while director of production Stephanie Rezentes will be the new managing director of Level 3 Post.

Good Morning America senior executive producer Michael Corn announced several appointments in a note to staff March 12. Simone Swink has been promoted to senior broadcast producer of the second hour and Margo Baumgart has been upped to senior broadcast producer in charge of futures and special programming. Also, Christine Brouwer was named senior broadcast producer, while Rachel Miskowiec is leaving to return to daytime television.

Former NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman is departing from the network to take a position at a medical school, she announced March 12. Snyderman, who previously served as VP of consumer education for Johnson & Johnson and medical correspondent for ABC News, joined NBC News in 2006.

Fox News Channel has hired former U.S. Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill as a contributor, announced chairman and CEO Roger Ailes March 12. O’Neill, said to have been the SEAL who fired the shots that killed Usama Bin laden, will provide military knowledge and analysis throughout daytime and primetime programs.

CBS Entertainment has elevated Tiffany Smith-Anoa'i to senior VP of entertainment diversity and communications. The 14-year CBS veteran, who had been VP of the division, will serve as a liaison to multi-cultural groups, agencies and guilds, as well as work to increase her department’s diversity initiatives.

Lincoln Financial Media president and CEO Don Benson will be recognized with the Media Financial Management Association’s Avatar Award. The honor, awarded to someone with outstanding contributions to the communications industry and in community service, will be presented at the Media Finance Focus 2015 conference.

Tribune’s KDAF Dallas has appointed James Aitken as VP and general manager. Aitken, who will start March 31, had been the president and general manager of CBS-CW duopoly KREM-KSKN Spokane. He also had previous stints as VP and general manager at KASW and station manager at KTVK in Phoenix.

ITV has paid $531 million to acquire Dutch reality TV powerhouse Talpa Media. Established in 2005 by John de Mol, Talpa Media is responsible for The Voice and Big Brother in addition to numerous international formats and franchises. The deal, expected to close in the second quarter, could rise to $1.2 billion.

JVC Professional Video has upped Chris Dalaly to assistant VP, production and entertainment, effective March 1. The JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation division made the announcement March 11. Dalaly, who has been with the company for the last 18 years, will be tasked with expanding its brand presence in the cine and production markets.

Brian Lorenzen has joined Raycom’s WTOL Toledo as VP and general manager. Previously director of sales at KRQE-KASA Albuquerque, Lorenzen will take over the retiring Bob Chirdon. Lorenzen previously spent 15 years at WUPW Toledo, rising to general sales manager in 2008.

Gannett Broadcasting has hired Bob Sullivan as senior VP of programming. Sullivan, who held a similar position at Scripps Media, will develop non-news local content on all platforms and help make group syndication deals. Sullivan also previously served as president and general manager of Gannett’s WUSA Washington, D.C.

Nonfiction production company Half Yard Productions announced two promotions and a new hiring on March 11. Janice Mezzetti has been upped to VP of production and operations, while Cameron Young has been elevated to director of post production and technical operations. Deniz Bicioglu has been named head of production for the company’s Bethesda, Md. office.

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