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Fates Roundup, March 3, 2015 - Broadcasting & Cable

Fates Roundup, March 3, 2015

Discovery Communications appoints Graboff, Lack in talks to return to NBC News and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

Discovery Communication has named longtime TV executive Marc Graboff as president, global business and legal affairs, production management and studios. Graboff, who will start in April, will take over for Eileen O’Neill, who left abruptly last month.

Andy Lack is in talks to return to a top role at NBC News, where he was formerly president, potentially taking the place of Patricia Fili-Krushel. Lack would supervise all of NBCUniversal’s news operations, while Fili-Krushel would have a new role in the company. Current president Deborah Turness would likely remain in her role.

Frontier Communications announced that longtime CEO Maggie Wilderotter will step down from her role next month to make way for president and COO Kevin McCarthy to become the new CEO. Wilderotter, who became CEO in 2004, will become executive chairman of the mid-sized telecom service provider.

ABC News president James Goldston announced in a note to staff that Cecilia Vega and Tom Llamas will officially serve as weekend anchors of World News Tonight. They had been filling in — Vega on Saturdays and Llamas on Sundays — since David Muir became the weekday anchor last fall.

Entravision Communications Corporation has elevated María Lopez-Knowles to chief marketing officer of Entravision. Lopez-Knowles had previously been CMO of the Pulpo Media business unit of the media company, which serves Latino audiences and communities. She will oversee multimedia and corporate marketing strategies

E! confirmed Feb. 27 that Kelly Osbourne is leaving Fashion Police. Her departure came days after she threatened to quit after remarks made by cohost Giuliana Rancic, who made a comment about Osbourne’s friend Zendaya Coleman’s dreadlocked hair.

Maureen Bunyan inked a multi-year deal with ABC7/WJLA-TV to keep her as anchor at the D.C. station, it announced Feb. 27. Bunyan founded the National Association of Black Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation. The 45-year veteran of TV news has won seven Emmys for news broadcasting.

NBC News’ Peacock Productions signed Brian Banks to develop an unscripted series, the company announced Feb. 27. The series will investigate a potential case of wrongful conviction. Banks was wrongfully convicted of rape in 2002 and exonerated a decade later.

Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock in Star Trek, died at the age of 83. His wife confirmed the death to the New York Times, saying he had been battling end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for a year. Nimoy portrayed Spock on TV for three seasons in the late 1960s and again in the first six feature films.

Longtime WBMA-WCFT Birmingham general manager Mike Murphy has taken the same position at KMOV St. Louis. Murphy, who joined Birmingham as general sales manager in 2002 and had worked up to GM by 2004, will begin at the Meredith-owned station on March 9, taking over for Mark Pimentel.

WBBZ Buffalo has appointed Chris Musial VP and general manager. Musial, who had been consulting there, was previously general manager of LIN’s WIVB-WNLO, the CBS-CW duopoly until mid-2013. Last year, Musial was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

truTV has named Maureen Taran executive in charge of talent. Taran, who was previously VP of management and production at New Wave Entertainment and, before that, VP of original programming at EPIX, will be tasked with supervising logistics and casting initiatives for network talent.

SMG Performance Marketing announced Feb. 26 the hiring of Dan Matarelli as VP, director. Matarelli, a veteran of digital marketing and media for 18 years, will lead the Chicago Performance Marketing office as well as different PM accounts teams for the division of Starcom MediaVest Group.

ABC News has hired John Cohen as a contributor covering national security, counterterrorism and law enforcement. Cohen had been serving as acting under secretary, intelligence and analysis, at the Department of Homeland Security. He previously was an advisor to Governors Mitt Romney and Janet Napolitano.

WHDH-WLVI Boston’s Paul Magnes has been upped to general manager from director of sales at the Sunbeam Television-owned pair. He takes over for Robert Burns, who resigned.

USC Annenberg’s media center was officially named The Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center on Feb. 25. Chen, a 1991 graduate of USC Annenberg, is the host of CBS’ The Talk. Her husband, Moonves, is president and CEO of CBS Corp., as well as a past member of USC Annenberg’s Board of Councilors.

EWTN Global Catholic Network has tapped Len Marino as VP of creative services. Marino, who has more than 35 years of industry experience, will take on senior management responsibility for the consolidated creative services division, which includes the on-air promotions departments.

Mark Overstreet has been tapped as VP and general manager of WZDX Huntsville, Ala., in addition to subchannels WAMY (MyNetworkTV) and Me-TV. Overstreet, who had been WTLV-WJXX-TV Jacksonville’s director of sales and previously WFLA Tampa’s local sales manager, will start immediately.

Vaddio has hired Adrian Torres to cover West Coast sales. Torres, who has more than 15 years of AV technology experience, including stops at Creston and Extron, will help develop relationships in the PRO AV and Unified Communications channels on the West Coast.

At its upcoming 11th annual Digital Patriots Dinner, the Consumer Electronics Association will honor Revolution chairman and CEO Steve Case. Case co-founded AOL in 1985 and D.C.-based investment firm Revolution in 2005. The dinner is set for April 14 at the National Building Museum in D.C.

Carl E. Lee, former president of Fetzer stations as well as the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, died Feb. 22. He was 96. Lee, who started his career in 1939 with Fetzer Broadcasting, helped founded MAB and was president in 1956. He also had leadership roles with NAB, Broadcasters Foundation and National Broadcast Pioneers.

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