Below is a compilation of the latest executive moves in the industry.
Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski have been tapped as fashion experts for NBC’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks on May 3 and 2, respectively. Figure skaters Weir and Lipinski recently made headlines for their figure skating analysis during coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Former Good Morning America anchor Josh Elliott will also appear during NBC Sports Kentucky Derby coverage, marking his first assignment at the Peacock Network.
Noah Hawley, who is the writer and executive producer of the television adaptation of the Coen brothers’ Fargo, has inked a deal with FX Productions, it was announced on April 22. The contract includes projects for cable and broadcast that will be developed over the next two years by Hawley and his outfit 26 Keys.
John Nizamis has been appointed general manager of WNWO Toledo, the Sinclair-owned station announced on April 22. Nizamis, who had served as sales manager of WPTA Fort Wayne, succeeds Chris Topf at the WNWO helm. Additional staff members moved from WPTA, which was recently acquired by Quincy Newspapers, to WNWO. The shifters include Charity Freeman, who is now general sales manager at the Toleda station and Nicole Hahn as news director.
GroupM has consolidated its business development, marketing, corporate communications and PR units into one, the company announced on April 22. The reorganized department will be headed by Mike Tunnicliffe, who will serve as chief growth & marketing officer. Tunnicliffe, who joined the company in September 2010, will report to Kelly Clark, CEO of GroupM North America, and Dominic Proctor, president of GroupM Global. In addition, Cindy Spellman has been appointed as director of global marketing & corporate communications, reporting to Tunnicliffe.
The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation and the Ford Motor Company Fund are accepting applications for the 2014 “Emerging Voices” Scholarship Program, it was announced on April 22. Full-time, female undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to submit two writing samples and application materials for a chance to win one of two $2500 scholarships. Selected students will provide content for AWM and are required to attend AWMF’s Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 11. All materials are due on April 30. For more information, click here.
Nancy Cohen has been tapped as senior VP of sales & sponsorship at BabyFirst, the network announced on April 22. Cohen, who joins the tot and parent targeted net from UP TV, will report to Mary Jeanne Cavanagh, executive VP of averting sales. Cohen has also had stints at NBCUniversal, Oxygen Media, MTV Networks and National Geographic.
Anchor Bay Entertainment made a trio of VP promotions on April 22. The appointments include: Erin Carter as VP of brand marketing; Jane McCowan as VP of retail marketing; and Glenn Wahlgren as VP of sales. Anchor Bay distributes and acquires feature films and television programming, which includes the release of AMC’s The Walking Dead on Blu-Ray and DVD as well as Starz originals programming.
Michael Grindon has been named head of Legendary Entertainment’s newly formed global television distribution unit, the company announced on April 21. Grindon will oversee the new division’s global distribution infrastructure and will report to Bruce Rosenblum, president of Legendary Television and Digital Media. Most recently, Grindon helmed Grindon Media, LLC. He also served as president of Sony Pictures Television’s international division for more than 15 years.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 87th Annual Academy Awards, marking their third consecutive year in that role. The show is set to air on Feb. 22, 2015.
Ellen Flattery has joined Renegade Productions as a content and programming producer, the company announced on April 21. Flattery will help the company, which is the production arm of agency Renegade Communications, increase its distribution and development. Prior to Renegade, Flattery had served as president, CEO and owner of Corporate Media Marketing and Productions, LLC.
SpikeTV has upped Matt Califano to VP of program scheduling, the network announced on April 21. Califano, who has been with Spike parent Viacom for 10 years, will oversee the planning and execution of program scheduling and acquisitions. He will continue to report to Tom Zappala, executive VP of programming and scheduling.
Ed Manetta will join Barclays Center as director of sports programming, it was announced on April 21. Manetta, who most recently served as managing director of Fastlane Communications, will oversee the programming of college hockey, high school sports, and the BROOKLYN HOOPS™ college basketball and BROOKLYN BOXING™ franchises.
Craig Sager, a longtime NBA sideline reporter for TNT, has begun treatment for leukemia, TNT announced at the start of its NBA playoffs coverage on April 20. Sager, who is known for his colorful attire and brash manner, was replaced by his son Craig Sager Jr. during the Maverick/Spurs game on Sunday.
Stephanie Mitchko-Beale has resigned from her post as senior VP of video infrastructure software at Cablevision Systems, according to Multichannel News sources. Mitchko-Beale joined the cable company in 1999 and during her tenure developed the network Digital Video Recorder. She reportedly left unexpectedly about two weeks ago.
Cynthia López has been tapped as commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, it was announced on April 18. López, who is executive VP and executive producer of American Documentary and the PBS series POV, succeeds Katherine Oliver. Oliver had served in the role since 2002 but left when Michael Bloomberg’s term as mayor ended.
Dave Grimaldi has been appointed director of public affairs at Pandora. Grimaldi, who will be based in Washington, starts the the online radio service on April 21. He formerly served as chief of staff to FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn and as Clyburn’s senior legal advisor while she was acting chairwoman.
Lara Spencer has been named co-anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America, announced newly minted ABC News President James Goldston on April 18. Spencer, who has anchored the lifestyle segments for GMA since 2011, was promoted amid contract negotiations between fellow co-anchor George Stephanopoulos and the network. On April 15, GMA welcomed Michael Strahan to the team as a part-time correspondent.
Chris Wallace has signed a multi-year extension with Fox News, it was announced on April 17. Wallace will continue to anchor and moderate the net’s Fox News Sunday. The veteran broadcaster got his start as gofer for Walter Cronkite during coverage of the 1964 Republican National Convention.
Seanbaker Carter has been upped to president of Powderhouse Productions, it was announced on April 17. Carter, who had previously headed programming and development, will now manage the company’s television and digital development, programming and operations. Powderhouse has produced VH1’s Swab Stories and A&E’s Southie Rules.
Al Jazeera America Washington correspondent Libby Casey will host the Cable Hall of Fame Celebration, the Cable center announced on April 17. The gala will be held on April 29 during the The Cable Show 2014.
Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers has been appointed executive VP of worldwide corporate communications and public affairs for Warner Bros., the company announced on April 16. Myers, who served under President Bill Clinton, will helm corporate communications activity worldwide at Warner Bros., starting her new role on Sept. 2. She succeeds Sue Fleishman.
David Wisnia has been tapped as president of business operations at TV Guide Network, it was announced on April 16. Wisnia, who is a former CBS executive, will head the net’s operational strategy and work closely with Brad Schwartz, president of entertainment and media at TVGN. He starts at TVGN immediately.
Margit Tritt has been appointed as director of business development, North American cable at Edgeware, the company announced on April 16. Tritt has had previous stints at Woomera Group LTD., Vubiquity, EchoStar, CableLabs, ILOG and AVS.
Jeremy Renner will narrate History’s upcoming event series The World Wars. Renner, who has starred in films such as The Town and The Hurt Locker, will help tell the stories of the three decades of war spanning from 1914 to 1945. The three-night series premieres on May 26.