Fates Roundup, Tuesday, March 4, 2014

David Nevins upped at Showtime, Michelle Beadle heads back to ESPN, and more
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Below is a compilation of the latest executive moves in the industry.

David Nevins has been upped to president of Showtime Networks, the premium cabler announced on March 4. Nevins, who also inked a contract extension through 2018, will now oversee Showtime's sports, marketing, creative and digital media divisions. The exec previously was the net's entertainment president, a position he took over in 2010 after successor Robert Greenblatt became NBC entertainment chairman. Showtime has been expanding its second screen offerings recently, including signing deals with Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Roku for its TV Everywhere app Showtime Anytime.

Marshall Hites has been upped to senior VP of marketing and creative services at Tribune Broadcasting, the company announced on March 4. Hites, who joined Tribune in 2011, will start his new role effective immediately, reporting to Larry Wert, president/broadcast media. His expanded role will include management of the the company's portfolio of creative services for all 42 owned or operated television stations. The exec will also continue to work with Los Angeles' KTLA 5 on marketing operations. He most recently served as VP of creative services and marketing.

Travis LeBlanc will be named acting chief of the Enforcement Bureau FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on March 4. LeBlanc, who has served as a senior advisor to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, succeeds Michele Ellison in the post. Ellison is heading back to the General Counsel's office to serve as deputy general counsel.

Theresa Patiri has been upped on March 4 to senior VP of production and business affairs at WE tv. Patiri, who reports to WE tv President and General Manager Marc Juris, is in charge of all production management and business affairs for the net's scripted and unscripted programming as well as projects in development. Previously, she supervised unscripted originals for the network.

Larry Librach has been upped to senior VP at the JVC Professional Products Company, it was announced on March 4. In his new role, he will oversee the direction of the company's sales and management division. Librach, who has been with JVC for 32 years, most recently served as VP of broadcast and public sector.

Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav will be feted with the Fred Dressler Leadership Award. The honor will be presented at the 2014 Mirror Awards held on June 4 in New York City. Zaslav has been at the helm of Discovery since 2007.

NPG PR has tapped Lisa Chader as executive VP of strategy and development. Chader, who most recently served as VP of corporate communications at CMT, will help add the network to NPG PR's client list and consult with CMT.

Michelle Beadle is heading back to ESPN as cohost of ESPN2's SportsNation, joining current emcees Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley. She left ESPN in 2012  to work as a correspondent for NBCUniversal's AccessHollywood. Beadle also had her own NBCSN show, The Crossover, which was canceled earlier this year.

Tim Connolly has been tapped to head distribution at Hulu, the online streaming service announced on March 3. Connolly has spent the last seven year as VP of digital video distribution and new product development at The Walt Disney Company. He is the third executive hire at Hulu since February, when Tian Lim was named CTO and Peter Naylor was appointed senior VP of sales.

Jordan Klepper will join The Daily Show With Jon Stewart as a correspondent, Comedy Central announced on March 3. Klepper, whose first appearance on the show was Monday night, has performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York city for three years. He has also had shows at UCB Comedy. He will report on "The Best F*&#ing News Team Ever!" alongside Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, Aasif Mandvi and Jessica Williams.

Starcom USA has bolstered its Novartis account, hiring execs Daniel Ryback and Rich Schneider. Ryback has been tapped as VP/director overseeing the over-the-counter businesses while Schneider has been named VP/director managing the Alcon business. Ryback joins Starcom from Zenith Media; Schneider from Direct Advantage.

Tom Brokaw will receive the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award at The Jefferson Awards, it was announced on March 3. The longtime broadcaster will be feted with the public service honor on March 5 at The Pierre Hotel. New York Yankee Mariano Rivera, 13-year-olds Lillian Pravda and Maria Keller, and Melrose Place star Andrew Shue will also be celebrated at the event. CBS This Morning cohost Norah O'Donnell will emcee.

Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci have been tapped as analysts for Fox's MLB coverage this season. Reynolds and Verducci will join Joe Buck behind the microphones, replacing semi-retired Tim McCarver.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has re-upped President Michael Powell for an additional three years, a source confirmed on March 2. The new contract was reportedly approved by the board at a meeting last week. Powell previously served as chairman of the FCC.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has pledged $250,000 to Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The funds will go toward American Public Media's Public Insight Network. APM via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has matched the Knight Foundation's gift.

Ira Rubenstein has been appointed general manager for PBS Digital, where he will lead all of the company's digital content and service efforts. Rubenstein, who joins PBS from MeeMee Media, will report to PBC COO Michael Jones and will start on March 24.

BermanBraun announced on Feb. 28 that the company had changed its name to Whalerock Industries and consolidated its film and television divisions into one unit. The combined unit will be helmed by president Andrew Whitman, who previously led the film division. The media and tech company also upped Jenna Glazier to senior VP of television and film. Gene Stein, who led the television department, will be leaving Whalerock. The news comes a month after cofounder Gail Berman announced that she was exiting the company.

Tad Smith will replace Hank Ratner as CEO of the Madison Square Garden Co., sources confirmed on Feb. 28. Ratner, however, will continue as vice chairman at MSG while Smith oversees day to day operations. Smith had been president of Cablevision Systems Local Media Group since 2009. MSG was spun off from Cablevision Systems in 2010.

Greg Siegel has been appointed VP of development and production at Legendary Digital Media, the company announced on Feb. 28. Siegel, who was most recently VP of entertainment development for Break Media, will oversee the company's content production and development for its digital platforms.

Discovery Communications overhauled its executive structure on Feb. 27. Eileen O'Neill, Discovery Channel group president, will no longer have oversight of TLC but will now helm Velocity and Science Channel while continuing to run Discovery Channel. TLC moves into the hands of Animal Planet group president Marjorie Kaplan, who will still oversee Animal Planet. Discovery Fit & Health, which previously fell under O'Neill's purview, will be run by group president Henry Schleiff, who will also continue to oversee Investigation Discovery, Destination America and the upcoming American Heroes Channel. Last month, Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav inked a contract extension through 2019.

Eugene Young has been tapped as president of Ryan Seacrest Productions, the company announced on Feb. 27. Young, a longtime unscripted producer, will spearhead strategic creative direction and entertainment production for RSP, reporting to chairman Ryan Seacrest and COO/CFO Jeff Refold. The announcement comes after the departure of former CEO Adam Sher in November.

Eric Levin has been tapped as senior VP, group client director at Spark, it was announced on Feb. 27. Levin will be tasked with growing the new content division of LiquidThread at Spark. The exec previously served as VP of design and production at Liquid Thread, where he worked on brands at Mondelez International. He started March 3.

Actors Drew Tarver, Nico Santos and Haneefah Wood have signed talent holding deals with CBS. All three participated in the net' s January Diversity Comedy Showcase.

MGM has renewed the contracts of four of its executives through 2016. The extensions include: Roma Khanna, president, television group and digital; Chris Ottinger, president, international television distribution and acquisitions; Steve Stark, president, television production and development; and John Bryan, president, domestic television distribution. All four executives will continue with their current roles in the studio.

David Amy has been elevated to executive VP and chief operating officer of Sinclair Broadcast Group, the company announced on Feb. 27. The exec, who has served as executive VP and chief financial officer at Sinclair since 2001, will directly oversee operations and continue to manage human resources and financial disciplines. Christopher Ripley will succeed Amy as CFO.

Colleen Dominguez has been tapped by Fox Sports as a reporter and featured contributor for Fox Sports Live, it was announced on Feb. 27. Dominguez was with ESPN for nearly 10 years before leaving in early February after her contract expired.

Stacey Woelfel is exiting his post as news director of the Missouri University-owned KOMU Columbia. Woelfel, who had also served as an associate professor at the university, has been tapped as director of MU's new Jonathan Murray Documentary Journalism Center. He is set to start on Sept. 1. The Documentary Journalism Center was created from a gift of $6.7 million from Bunim/Murray Productions Chairman Jonathan Murray.

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