Fates Roundup, March 24, 2015

ESPN leads Sports Emmy nominations, A+E names Hill chief creative officer and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

ESPN’s 37 Sports Emmy nominations were the most of any network when the nominees for the 36th annual ceremony were announced March 24 by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Rounding out the top five-most nominated networks were NBC with 33, MLB Network with 16, ESPN2 with 15 and Fox with 14.

A+E Networks has appointed Amanda Hill as chief creative officer, international. Hill, previously the chief brands officer at BBC Worldwide, will supervise international marketing, communication and programming teams throughout the company. She will also be in charge of the division’s content, such as original programming development.

Endemol Beyond USA has added Jeff Browning and Jenn Mancini to its sales team. Browning will serve as senior VP, sales, while Mancini will be VP, East Coast sales. Their appointments were announced by Adrian Sexton, who recently joined the company as chief operating officer. Responsibilities for Sexton, a former Lionsgate executive and head of digital at Participant Media, will include increasing business development, strategy, sales and distribution opportunities.

Billy Gabor, the senior colorist of Deluxe Creative Services, has been promoted to managing director of its Atlanta studio. That studio is home to outposts Company 3, Method, Encore and Beast. Since joining the company in 1998, Gabor helped start Company 3’s East Coast operations by opening and leading the New York office.

Simulmedia has elevated Adam T. Quinn to director, advertising sales. Quinn had been a senior account executive since joining the TV advertising company in March 2014. On March 23, Simulmedia announced the hiring of Ethan Rapp as senior VP program management to lead the company’s closed loop measurement programs. On March 18, Simulmedia announced the promotion of J. Peter Ban to chief operating officer. Ban, who had been senior VP of business operations since joining the company from HBO in September of 2014, will oversee the company’s operations in his new role.

CBS has extended David Rhodes’ contract as president of CBS News to February 2019. Rhodes, who held senior roles at Bloomberg and Fox News before becoming CBS News president in 2011, led the relaunch of morning show CBS This Morning.

Rovi has named Steven Lucas to its board of directors. The appointment of Lucas, an executive at SAP, became effective March 20 and increased the size of the multiscreen video software, navigation and metadata company’s board to seven. Lucas also worked at Salesforce.com and Crystal Decisions.

The Weather Company has tapped David Jaye as chief marketing officer and upped Maureen Marshall to VP. Jaye, who will be based in Atlanta, will be tasked with leading marketing strategy, supervising the company’s marketing council and coordinating with all business units. Marshall had been serving as communications director.

Comedian and philanthropist Jerry Lewis will be honored with the NAB Distinguished Service Award during the opening keynote of this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas. Lewis, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice, started the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day telethon, the top-grossing fundraising program on TV.

Emerson Perez has joined Bridge Technologies as regional manager Latin America. Perez has 25 years of experience in the industry, with past positions in engineering at TV stations in addition to technical management positions at Technicolor Grass Valley, Encoda and Odetics.

Music Choice has added Brett Leitner as senior director, distribution sales and affiliate relations. Leitner, who spent the last 10 years as part of HBO’s domestic network distribution group, will forge carriage agreements and oversee overall affiliate sales strategy and implementation of initiatives like TV Everywhere.

WABC New York reporter Lisa Colagrossi died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage March 20. She was 49. Colagrossi collapsed following a report from a house fire March 19. She joined WABC days after September 11, following stints at WKMG Orlando and WKYC Cleveland.

Madison Square Garden Co. announced March 20 the appointment of Sharon Otterman to the position of executive VP and chief marketing officer. Otterman, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, was previously the senior VP and chief marketing officer for MSNBC and NBC News.

Judson Beck has been chosen to be the new VP and general manager of WLAX-WEUX in La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wis., both Nexstar Broadcasting-owned Fox affiliates. The appointment is effective immediately. Beck had been Midwest director and general sales manager of digital couponing outfit Living Social.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau on March 19 announced the first board of directors for the IAB Digital Video Center of Excellence. Hulu’s senior VP of advertising sales Peter Naylor will serve as head of the board. Those joining him include A+E’s Dan Suratt, The Weather Company’s Jeremy Steinberg and Sony’s James Smith.

Discovery Communications announced March 19 that Helen Hawken had been upped to VP of production and development, factual for Discovery Networks International. Hawken, who had been director of programming, factual, is taking over the role vacated by Phil Craig, who was recently named executive VP and chief creative officer.

FremantleMedia North America CEO Thom Beers named Ron Garfield executive VP and general manager of Buzzr TV. The digital multicast network is scheduled to launch in 17 Fox markets this summer, tapping into the company’s library of tens of thousands of hours of game shows.

Audio technology company iZotope, Inc. added three hires to its team. Claire Harding Hollenbeck will serve as VP of education, Andrew Jobson as customer care director and Jonathan Wyner as education director and chief engineer of iZotope’s new recording and production studio.

Tom Rutledge, the CEO of Charter Communications, brought in $16.1 million in total compensation in 2014, more than three times what he made the previous year, according to a proxy statement filed with the SEC. His base salary was the same — $1.99 million — but he received much more in option awards.

In reorganizing its D.C. bureau, ABC News is laying off around 12 staff member. Some positions are opening while others are going away, as part of the restructuring of the bureau from "platform-based" teams to "content-based teams," according to a memo from ABC News’ D.C. bureau chief March 18.

A&E head Rob Sharenow has promoted Elaine Frontain Bryant to executive VP and head of programming. Paul Cabana, who runs programming for H2, will take over Bryant’s role at History to head programming at both networks. Sharenow became general manager of A&E last month.

Live action director and creative director Richard D’Alessio has joined Hollywood-based entertainment branding and marketing innovations agency Troika. Founder and CEO Dan Pappalardo made the announcement March 18. D’Alessio has worked with advertising clients around the world, with recent work airing during the Oscars.

Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, celebrating its 25th anniversary, will close out the Tribeca Film Festival. Following the screening on April 25, Daily Show host Jon Stewart will moderate a panel with the acclaimed director as well as cast and crew of the classic gangster film.

The soundtrack for Fox hit Empire debuted in Billboard 200’s top spot, besting Madonna’s new album. The Columbia Records-released album is the first TV soundtrack to debut in the top spot since Glee back in 2010; however, unlike its fellow Fox show, Empire features original music.

Global Eagle Entertainment has chosen Jim Griffiths to be its senior VP of content purchasing and distribution. Griffiths, most recently the CEO at consulting firm GSD LLC, brings more than 30 years of experience to the provider of content, connectivity and digital media solutions to airlines.

Cumulus Media has elevated Pierre Bouvard to the new role of chief marketing officer. Bouvard, who had been a media research, sales and marketing executive, will oversee marketing strategy for the company and help create targeting applications for advertisers and agencies to reach audiences throughout Cumulus and Westwood One’s block of listeners.

Airex, Inc. has tapped Alexis Christoforous as executive producer and anchor in the broadcast, events and media division of Airex Media. Christoforous, who spent six years at CBS MarketWatch in addition to stints at Bloomberg and CBS News, will report to cofounder and CEO Stephen Kuhn.

Sugar TV executives Pat Younge, Narinder Minhas and Lucy Pilkington have cofounded 360° media company Sugar Films, which launched March 18. The company, based in London and Cardiff, will combine digital production, TV content and creative solutions to produce programing aimed at diverse, mainstream and young audiences.

TV station veteran Larry Herbster died March 16. He was 71. Herbster, who began his career in New York in 1967 at Life Magazine, served as VP and GM of Nexstar’s WROC Rochester and president and GM of Gannett’s WGRZ Buffalo and KOCO Oklahoma City. He retired as WBRE Wilkes Barre-Scranton’s VP and GM in 2000.

Advanced Broadcast Solutions has added Jason Sibal to the professional video and audio systems integration firm as engineering manager, effective March 16. Sibal, who previously worked at GMA Network, Gencom Technology and Grass Valley, will produce engineering proposals, lead installation efforts and work with customers directly.

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