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Fates & Fortunes - Broadcasting & Cable

Fates & Fortunes

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Broadcast TV

Phillip Kraft, writer/producer, WJLA Washington, joins KPIX San Francisco in the same capacity.

David Hewitt, technical facilities manager, WLS Chicago, joins WBBM Chicago as manager, technical operations.

Cable TV

At Comcast: Linda Hossinger, senior VP, Michigan region, Comcast, named senior VP, Three Rivers region; Juan Otero, director, economic development, National Governors Association, named VP, government and regulatory affairs, Michigan region.

Patrick Eltzroth, area director, sales and marketing, Comcast, rejoins Insight Communications as district VP, Columbus, Ohio, region.

Programming

Marie Jacobson, senior VP, programming and production, international networks, Sony Pictures Television International, promoted to executive VP, programming and production, international networks.

Richard Gay, senior VP, strategy and business operations, VH1 & CMT, promoted to executive VP, strategy and business operations.

Steve Raab, VP, marketing and business development, SportsNet New York, promoted to president.

Shane O'Rourke, president, North American Operations, Setanta Sports, adds president, Australian Operations, and continues to head the network's Programming Division, Dublin.

Gary Rosenson, senior VP, cable sales and affiliate marketing, Playboy Enterprises Inc., Los Angeles, promoted to senior VP, affiliate sales and marketing, Media Group.

Promotions at QVC Inc., Customer Fulfillment Services, West Chester, Pa.; Dan McDermott, from VP, supply chain, to senior VP, customer services; Mike Barrett, from general manager, Suffolk Distribution, to VP, distribution site operations; Rob Muller, from director, distribution planning and analysis, to VP, distribution corporate operations.

David Botkin, director of relationship marketing, testing and tracking, eBay, joins CBS in the newly created post of senior VP, research and audience analytics, CBS Interactive.

Sandra Yost Gehring, corporate VP, Emmis Television, joins ACME Communications Inc. as general manager, syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz.

At Speed Network: Mark Mitchell, director, Speedtv.com, promoted to executive director, digital media; Joe Tripp, senior editor, Speedtv.com, promoted to director, interactive operations.

Mark Jorgensen, director, strategic sales, Entercom, joins Fox Sports Net Northwest as VP/general sales manager.

At National Geographic Channel: Char Serwa, senior executive producer, promoted to VP, production; Cindy Linnell, director, production operations, Tiger/Tigress Productions, joins as director, production management; Joyce Romano, independent consultant, named director, program planning & budget.

Shera Higgs-Thompson, marketing coordinator, AmericanLife TV Network, promoted to marketing manager.

Journalism

Hakem Dermish, sports reporter/fill-in anchor, WTVG Toledo, Ohio, joins WRC Washington as sports producer/reporter.

Eric King, reporter, WJTV Jackson, Miss., joins WHBQ Memphis as general assignment reporter.

Dave Malkoff, of WFOR Miami, joins KCBS/KCAL Los Angeles as general assignment reporter.

Ama Daetz, weekend morning show, WDIV Detroit, promoted to morning co-anchor.

Ross Palombo, freelance reporter, KCBS Los Angeles, named anchor/reporter, KENS San Antonio.

Timyka Artist, reporter, WTAE Pittsburgh, joins WPXI Pittsburgh as reporter.

Sean Lewis, weekend anchor, WWBT Richmond, Va., named anchor/reporter, CLTV Chicago.

Ellen Goldberg, anchor/reporter, KOAT Albuquerque, joins KXAS Dallas as general assignment reporter.

Jenny Anchondo, primary anchor, KNDU/KNDO Yakima, Wash., joins morning anchor team, KOLD Tucson, Ariz.

Sandra Hernandez, freelance reporter, KDAF Dallas, named reporter/fill-in anchor.

Michelle Relerford, morning reporter/fill-in anchor, WEWS Cleveland, moves to WFLD Chicago as freelance reporter.

Christina Arangio, reporter/anchor, WFTV Orlando, Fla., joins WTEN Albany, N.Y., as weekday 5:30 and 11 p.m. co-anchor.

Edmundo Aguliar, general assignment reporter, KIVI Boise, Idaho, joins KOVR Sacramento, Calif., in a similar position.

Technology

Ken Leffingwell, senior sales applications engineer, Wegener Corp., promoted to director of sales.

Timothy Holzer, director, strategic business, OpVista Inc., joins Aurora Networks, Santa Clara, Calif., as VP, national account.

Internet

Matthew Palmer, senior VP, marketing, The Walt Disney Co., joins Stardoll as executive VP/general manager.

Marketing/advertising/pr

At Van Wagner Sports Group LLC, New York: COO John Haegele named CEO; Cliff Kaplan, president, advertising and sponsorship sales/president, media ventures, named president.

Michael McLaughlin, media relations specialist, D S Simon Productions, New York, named manager, earned media strategy.

Mike Slane, designer/animator, Motion Theory, Los Angeles, joins Exopolis, Los Angeles, as art director.

Obituary

Tom Poston, who played several TV roles in which he seemed hopelessly befuddled, died April 30 in Los Angeles. He was 85.

Poston is probably best-known for his portrayal of George Utley, the kind-hearted handyman who couldn't fix anything, on Newhart, which starred Bob Newhart and aired from 1982 to '90 on CBS.

Old time TV viewers know him from the mid '50s, when, with Don Knotts and Louis Nye, he was a regular “man on the street” on the late-night Steve Allen Show, winning an Emmy for it. Prior to that, he had had a successful career as a Broadway actor.

He is survived by two children and his third wife, actress Suzanne Pleshette.

One of the last individual owners of a TV-station group, Milton Grant, president/CEO of Grant Communications Inc., died April 28 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

He started in broadcasting in radio as news director at WNYC New York. He switched to TV in the '50s when he created and starred in The Milt Grant Show, a rock-and-roll dance party on WTTG Washington that became the market's most popular daily show.

He would go on to launch TV stations across the country. At his death, he owned eight.

Tommy Newsom, the accomplished but nondescript former backup bandleader for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on NBC, died of cancer April 28 in Portsmouth, Va., his hometown. He was 78.

Carson often made him the butt of jokes, nicknaming him “Mr. Excitement.” But Newsom's deadpan humor made him a popular character on the show, which he joined as a saxophonist in 1962. He retired from the show in 1992, when Carson did.

As a musician, he was no joke. He recorded with top performers and wrote and arranged symphonic pieces.

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