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Fates Roundup, Tuesday, April 29 - Broadcasting & Cable

Fates Roundup, Tuesday, April 29

Peggy Conlon retiring from Ad Council, Craig Ferguson leaving ‘Late Late Show,’ and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest executive moves in the industry.

Peggy Conlon is retiring next year from her post as president of the Ad Council, the council announced on April 29. Conlon, who is a former publisher of B&C and TV Fax, has helmed the Ad Council since 1999.

One Solution has appointed Detavio Samuels as president, it was announced on April 29. Samuels, who most recently worked at GlobalHue-Detroit, will oversee all of One Solution and report to Alfred Liggins, CEO, Radio One and TV One.

Iness Pleus has been upped to senior VP, operations, brand marketing & creative at Spike TV, it was announced on April 29. Pleus will now oversee the day-to-day operations for the network’s creative and marketing units. She will continue to report to Frank Tanki, executive VP, brand marketing & creative. Before her promotion, she served as VP, operations, creative group.

Narendra Reddy has been named senior VP of programming and production at The Africa Channel, the network announced on April 29. Reddy, who most recently served as general manager for DreamWorks Animation India, will spearhead the channel’s creative direction and executive representation across production, programming and acquisitions efforts.

Craig Ferguson announced April 28 that he was stepping down as host of CBS’ The Late Late Show at the end of the year. Ferguson, who took over the show in 2005 after Craig Kilborn left, made the announcement during a taping of the show. News of his departure comes weeks after David Letterman revealed that he will be stepping down from The Late Show in 2015. Ferguson’s late-night talker follows Letterman at 12:30 a.m. and has been the subject of much speculation since Letterman announced his retirement. CBS has already named The Colbert Report’s Stephen Colbert as Letterman’s successor.

Terrell McSweeny officially began her term as FTC commissioner on April 28. The newly minted Democratic member was confirmed on April 9 after the originally scheduled vote was delayed due to the government shut-down. McSweeny previously served as chief counsel for competition policy at the Justice Department as well as a domestic policy adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.

Steven Swain has been appointed senior VP, programming at Dish Network, the company announced on April 28. Swain, who joined Dish in 2011, will oversee the acquisition and renewal of programming content for the satellite giant. He will report to company President and CEO Joseph P. Clayton. Dish also revealed that David Shull, executive VP and chief commercial officer, will take a leave of absence for a family matter.

Kathleen Keefe will step down as VP of sales at Hearst Television at the end of the year, it was announced on April 28. News of Keefe’s departure comes two months after Eric Meyrowitz took over as VP of Sales at Hearst. Meyrowitz formerly served as VP and general manager of WPIX New York. Keefe joined the company in 2001.

Dr. Jack Ramsay, a longtime ESPN analyst and Hall of Fame NBA coach, died on April 28 after a 15-year battle with cancer. He was 89. Ramsay started at ESPN in 1991, serving as an NBA analyst on both television and radio. He retired from ESPN last season. The broadcast veteran, coached in the NBA for 20 years, during which time he led the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA title.

Friday Abernathy has been tapped senior VP, content distribution at Univision Communications, the company announced on April 28. Abernathy, who most recently served as executive VP of distribution sales and marketing for TV Guide Network, will oversee Univision’s content distribution with cable, satellite and telecommunications companies. She will report to Sarah Madigan, executive VP, content distribution.

Dan Teitscheid has joined MAVTV as VP of content distribution and partner marketing, the network announced on April 28. Teitscheid has had stints at Disney and ESPN Media Networks as well as MTV Networks.

Clara Kim has been named executive VP of business and legal affairs for National Geographic Channels and National Geographic Channels International, parent Fox Networks Group announced on April 28. The move is part of the company’s business and legal affairs reorganization, which was first announced in June 2013. Kim joins the company from Multi-Verse Media, LLC, where she served as general counsel and cofounder. At FNG, she will report to Rita Tuzon, executive VP and general counsel.

David “Digger” Granville-Smith has been appointed executive VP and chief financial officer of A+E Networks, the company announced on April 28. Granville-Smith, who succeeds retiring Gerard Gruosso, will oversee financial operations across the company’s properties. He most recently served as managing director and head of the media group in J.P. Morgan’s investment banking division.

Scott Gregg has been upped to executive VP, sales operations at Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, it was announced on April 28. Gregg, who will continue to oversee business operations for television distribution worldwide, will now manage international sales operations. The exec has been with Fox for more then 18 years most recently serving as senior VP of sales operations.

Mark Bracco has been named executive VP, programming and development at dick clark productions, the company announced n April 28. At dick clark, he will manage programming and development, including Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest. Bracco joins the company from ABC Entertainment, where he served as VP of alternative series and specials.

Former NBC4 Los Angeles reporter Laurel Erickson has left journalism to pursue a career in real estate. The L.A. Emmy winner has joined the Sunset boulevard Coldwell Banker office as a sales associate.

Kristin Jones has joined AMC in a consulting role, the company announced on April 25. Jones will be tasked with helping the cabler find international scripted content, including adaptations, acquisitions and coproductions. Jones most recently served as chief creative officer of Vuguru and has also had stints at Miramax Films and Buena Vista International.

Katherine Green has been tapped to help news at Tribune Broadcasting, the company announced on April 24. Green will serve as senior VP of the department, overseeing news production and operations all of the broadcaster’s owned or operated stations. She will start on May 5 and report to Larry Wert, president of broadcast media. Green most recently was senior VP and managing editor of HLN.

George Stephanopoulos has inked a long-term contract with ABC News, it was revealed on April 24. Under the terms of the deal, Stephanopoulos will continue to serve as anchor of Good Morning America and This Week. His previous contract was set to expire at the end of this season. GMA has gone through quite the upheaval in recent months with multiple departures and hires, including the exits of weatherman Sam Champion and news anchor Josh Elliott.

PromaxBDA announced on April 24 the keynote speakers at the company’s Station Summit. The presenters include television host Shelly Palmer, branding specialist and author SimonMainwaring, and media trend and cultural research expert Stacey Lynn Schulman. The PromaxBDA Station Summit, emerging trends in local television, takes place from June 24-27 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

TLC made two executive appointments to its development and production units on April 24. Jack Tarantino has been tapped as VP of production, West Coast, and Elvia Van Es Oliva has been named VP of development, West Coast. Tarantino joins TLC from Style Network, where he served as VP of original programming, while Van Es Oliva most recently worked as a senior VP of development at Fly On the Wall Entertainment. The duo will report to Sandy Varo Jarrell, senior VP of production and development, West Coast.

Ray Fitzgerald has been tapped as senior VP of sales, Americas at SeaChange International, Inc., the multi-screen video software company announced on April 24. Fitzgerald, who most recently served as senior VP of worldwide sales at ActiveVideo Networks, will oversee the sales and solutions engineering teams as well as its distributor network across the Americas. He repots to Raghu Rau, CEO of SeaChange.

Karen Bonck has been named senior VP, branded partnerships at Debmar-Mercury, the company announced on April 23. Bonck will oversee partnerships for the company’s series, which include The Wendy Williams Show and the upcoming Celebrity Name Game. She reports to the company’s cop residents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus. The exec previously worked at NBCUniversal and Disney/ABC Television Group.

Sam Register has been upped to president, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series, it was announced on April 23. Register, who previously served as executive VP of creative affairs for the company’s animation division, will continue to oversee that unit as well as lead a live-action production department for digital content. He reports to Warner Bros. Television Group President and Chief Content Officer Peter Roth.

Meredith Attwell Baker has been tapped as CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association, effective June 2. Baker, a former FCC commissioner who currently is NBCU’s top D.C. exec, succeeds retiring Steve Largent.

Scott Grout has joined Cedexis as CEO, the cloud-based Web and mobile solutions company announced on April 22. Grout was most recently president and CEO of RadiSys. The exec will work closely with company cofounders Marty Kagan and Julien Coulon.

Brian Hughes has been appointed chief revenue and strategy officer at Rural Media Group, the company announced on April 21. Hughes, who most recently worked for The Outdoor Channel, will also serve as general manager for RMG’s Nashville operations.

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