Fates Roundup, Nov. 18, 2014

Weinberg tapped as Tomorrow Studios’ executive VP, DeSimone named WMSN Madison GM and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest moves in the industry.

Tomorrow Studios announced Nov. 18 that Matthew Weinberg will take on the role of executive VP, managing and increasing the company’s development slate. Weinberg, based in Tomorrow Studios’ Los Angeles headquarters, will report to CEO Marty Adelstein and president Becky Clements.

John DeSimone is the new general manager for Sinclair’s WMSN Madison. DeSimone, who since 2011 has been VP and general manager of national sales at Azteca America, formerly served as VP and director of sales at WXTV and WFUT in New York and VP of national sales at Univision.

NBCUniversal announced Nov. 18 that Mike Mayer has been upped to executive VP, sales solutions within the ad sales division. Mayer, who joined the company in 2012, will supervise linear and digital ad sales systems in addition to sales inventory analytics and report. Mayer will report to NBCU’s ad sales president Linda Yaccarino.

Gannett has appointed Alison Engel as VP of finance. Engel, previously senior VP, chief financial officer and treasurer at A. H. Belo Corp, will report to president and CEO Gracia Martore. Engel was at A. H. Belo since the newspaper division’s 2008 spinoff from Belo Corp. Gannett acquired Belo in 2013.

AdMore has added three executives to its roster. Jay Goldstein will serve as director of sales, NY, while Robert Rothfarb will have the same position in L.A. Karen Lisbon, formerly Media Design Group’s director of media, joins AdMore and REVShare as VP of media. Finally, REVShare elevated Shaia Ash, previously director of accounts, to VP, national sales.

NBC News president Deborah Turness announced Nov. 17 that Today general manager Jamie Horowitz is leaving the network. Horowitz, previously at ESPN, started in that position in September. Turness said that in the interim she would work with Don Nash and Jen Brown to oversee the show.

Ross Video announced Nov. 17 the hiring of Greg Quirk as marketing product manager - communications, DashBoard and business development manager for the Legislative Market. Quirk has a dozen years of technical marketing experience, from telecoms and video content security to reverse engineering and semiconductors.

Multiscreen video platform provider Piksel has taken on Neil Berry as executive VP of commercial for the EMEA region. Previously at competitor Ooyala, Berry will be tasked with increasing Piksel’s business in Europe. The company recently introduced a new modular OTT video platform as part of a relaunch.

Delivery Agent announced Nov. 17 that Chad Beasley will be the new VP of sales The new role was created to power the company’s advanced advertising business and deliver brands solutions. Beasley has previously done sales and marketing at AT&T, Delta, Intel, Sony and General Motors.

Brand response ad agency Hawthorne Direct has selected Steve Jurgensen as the agency’s new director of finance and operations. CEO Jessica Hawthorne-Castro made the announcement Nov. 17. Jurgensen, who will be based in Denver, will also regularly work out of offices in Los Angeles and Fairfield, Iowa.

CBS Network Sales has tapped Amy M. Young as VP, video on demand and content distribution, announced president Jo Ann Ross on Nov. 17. Young will be tasked with developing new revenue streams and opportunities for the network sales division, with an emphasis on multi-platform monetization.

Lu Chekowsky has joined Comedy Central as senior VP, brand creative. Chekowsky will report to chief marketing officer Walter Levitt, who made the announcement of the hire Nov. 17. Chekowsky, who will start in mid-December, will take over Comedy Central’s in-house creative team, supervising brand and marketing creative.

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has chosen Robin Colwell to be his new chief of staff and legal adviser. Colwell, formerly legal adviser to Sen. Tom Scott (R-S.C.), starts Dec. 15. Colwell, who used to be an associate at Wiley Rein, previously worked with former Sens. Jim Demint and Peter Fitzgerald and former Rep. Connie Mack.

Gordon Smith, president of National Association of Broadcasters, will be awarded with the 2015 Golden Mike from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The award, which honors contributions to the foundation’s mission of helping broadcasters in need, will be given on Feb. 23. Smith has led NAB since 2009.

ABC’s reality chief Lisa Berger is leaving the network after just 13 months in the role. No replacement has been named. Berger, who had been entertainment president of cable network E!, took over as executive VP for alternative series, specials and late-night at ABC in September of 2013 after the departure of John Saade.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has chosen David Waterman as the FCC’s new chief economist, focusing on media issues. Waterman, professor emeritus in Indiana University Bloomington’s telecom department, has done extensive research on online video and how cable and other MVPDs could impact its growth.

Marketing agency Lussier has launched an East Coast office and with it several new hires. Former A&E VP Maria Pecoraro will lead the New York-area office as senior VP, creative director. Banks Farris, previously at J&M Advertising, is joining the L.A. office as a producer for digital and special projects. Finally, former HBO editor Jason Pachomski will be a producer/editor.

Tribune Broadcasting has tapped William Ammerman as VP, programmatic and data driven revenue, the company announced Nov. 13. Ammerman, the 2010 Edward R. Murrow Award winner who previously served as general sales manager for Capitol Broadcasting’s New Media Group, joined Tribune Nov. 17.

Willinger Talent Agency announced Nov. 12 that Krista Voda has joined NBC as host of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series pre- and post-race coverage for the 2015 season. Voda will also cover other assignments across NBC Sports, including the Olympics.

Dan Aversano has been elevated to senior VP, client and consumer insights for Turner Broadcasting System. Aversano, who is based in New York and reports to TBS’ chief media and business insights officer Molly Battin, will lead a new group focusing on comprehending, analyzing and predicting consumer behavior.

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker announced CNN Digital’s new management structure on Nov. 12. The role GM of CNN digital was added to Andrew Morse’s responsibilities, while Alex Wellen is now CNN’s first chief political officer. Meredith Artley was upped to editor-in-chief of CNN digital. Wellen and Artley will report to Morse.

The Big Bang Theory’s Carol Ann Susi died of cancer, Warner Bros. said Nov. 11. Susi, who played the unseen role of Mrs. Wolowitz on the CBS comedy, got her first TV role on ABC’s The Night Stalker. She also appeared in Cheers, Doogie Howser, Mad About You, Seinfeld and Six Feet Under.

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