ABC Alum Barry Jossen Heads To A+E Studios
Former ABC Studios exec Barry Jossen has joined A+E Studios to oversee its growing slate of scripted productions. Jossen will serve as exec VP of A+E Studios, headed by Bob DeBitetto, who is also president of brand strategy and business development for the corporate parent of A&E Network, Lifetime and History. Based in Los Angeles, Jossen will run creative affairs and production on all scripted programming produced by the studio.
NBC Promotes Enrique Guillen, Brandon Riegg in Alternative Department
NBC has upped two key execs in its alternative programming department, naming both Enrique Guillen and Brandon Riegg senior vice president. Pair reports to Meredith Ahr, exec veep in the division. Guillen has been a member of the NBCU family for a decade, and joined the Peacock in 2009 from Telemundo. At NBC, he oversees “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Last Comic Standing.” In his new role as senior v.p., Guillen will expand his focus to include development of unscripted projects that have digital interactivity, ad innovation and cross-company collaboration.
FremantleMedia North America Makes David Luner its Main Brand Man
After helping raise the profile of shows like “American Idol” and “The X Factor,” David Luner has been promoted to president, brand partnerships and franchise management at FremantleMedia North America. The longtime exec oversees all of FMNA’s ancillary businesses, including digital brand partnerships, sponsorship and integrated marketing, licensing, live events, and various elements of business development. He reports to Thom Beers, CEO, FremantleMedia North America.
Redbox Names Ex-Warner Bros. Exec Mark Horak President
Mark Horak, most recently president of the Americas at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, will join DVD kiosk company Redbox as its new president on March 17. Horak’s appointment comes after Redbox president Anne Saunders ankled last December, as part of parent company Outerwall’s restructuring the company and laying off 8.5% of its workforce, or 251 employees. Horak left Warners when his contract expired at the end of 2013.
New Line’s Candice McDonough Upped to Senior VP Publicity, Corporate Communications
New Line and Warner Bros. have promoted publicity vet Candice McDonough to senior VP of publicity and corporate communications, with expanded duties relating to Warner production, distribution and executive news. In her new post, McDonough, who previously served as VP of publicity and corporate communications since 2011, will also work with Warner’s Theater Ventures, which is overseen by New Line prexy Toby Emmerich. McDonough will report to both Emmerich and Susan Fleishman, head of Warner’s worldwide corporate communications and public affairs.
Comcast SportsNet Northwest
Comcast SportsNet Northwest announced that Jeff Ingalls will serve as Senior Executive Producer. Ingalls’ role will include managing all live event, studio and remote productions, including games as well as live and taped programs; creative development and innovation; optimizing the 24-hour on-air look of CSNNW; cultivating partnerships; and leading the network’s staff of producers, editors, technical personnel and on-air talent.
Heretic Films Taps Sarah Scougal as VP of Development and Production
Heretic Films, the finance and production company founded by Burton Ritchie and Ben Galecki, has tapped Sarah Scougal as VP, development and production. Previously based in London, Scougal has worked for Working Title, Sprout Pictures and Vertigo Films. Heretic’s upcoming slate includes Kevin Pollak’s directorial debut “Misery Loves Comedy,” “Welcome to Me” starring Kristen Stewart and “Big Significant Things,” which will bow at this year’s SXSW Festival.
Rodale Makes Key Digital Hire
Rodale has hired Beth Buehler as svp of digital operations and strategy, a newly created position and the latest sign of change at the family-owned company since Scott Schulman was named president in October. Buehler will oversee online activities related to Rodale’s health and fitness brands including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention and Runner’s World, as well as its books and e-commerce site Rodale’s. The announcement was made by Schulman, to whom Buehler will report, and her appointment is effective today.
WESH Names Kirsten Wolff News Director
Kirsten Wolff has been named news director for Hearst owned Orlando NBC affiliate WESH. Wolff posted the news to her facebook page, “I am blown away by today. 7 years ago I dreamed of becoming a News Director. I took a 3,000 mile leap of faith and landed in Orlando. Fell in love with the WESH Newsroom. Today my dream came true.”
Spanish Broadcasting System Interactive
Max Ramirez has been promoted to Vice President Digital Media Sales for the Spanish Broadcasting System Interactive. Prior to SBS, he has held senior sales roles at companies like Batanga Media and MTV.
The Exchange Lab
The Exchange Lab appointed former Microsoft and BBC Worldwide Senior Executive Chris Dobson as the company’s newest Chariman.
Kevin Hoiseth Joins IFT
Kevin Hoiseth has joined US sales agency International Film Trust as director of international sales. He joins IFT with immediate effect and will primarily focus his sales attention on Asia and Eastern Europe. The company is attending Berlin with a slate that includes “Cymbeline,” starring Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich and Dakota Johnson; “Your Voice In My Head,” starring Emma Watson; comedy “The King Of The Kastle,” starring Clive Owen, Jacki Weaver and Asa Butterfield; and action thriller “Cell” starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson.
Marnie Sparer Joins Coronel Group As Manager
After 18 1/2 years at Innovative Artists, Marnie Sparer is switching to management, joining the Coronel Group. She is bringing with her clients Billy Miller — two-time Emmy winner for The Young & the Restless — Justin Bruening (Grey’s Anatomy), Zach Roerig (The Vampire Diaries), Jake Weary, Joe West, John Lavelle, Zach Roerig, Joe West (The Sound of Music Live), Joey Bicicchi (Rudderless) and Nadia Dajani, with more expected to follow. At Coronel Group, Sparer will work alongside managers Leanne Coronel, Tom Spriggs and Jacob Israel.
Soundelux Co-Founder Lon Bender Jumps to Formosa Group
Soundelux co-founder Lon Bender has left that company to join aggressive upstart the Formosa Group. Bender is an Oscar winning supervising sound editor and sound designer. He is the twelfth artist to join Formosa Group since the company was launched in 2013 and began luring talent. Among them are the team of Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg, who also left Soundelux for Formosa Group.
Relativity Launches Digital Studio Division
Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh — calling traditional TV advertising a dead-end — is expanding the studio’s digital push with a new unit focused on developing original content for digital platforms on behalf of big brands. Kavanaugh has recruited Roger Mincheff, former president of Myspace Entertainment and head of branded entertainment at Fox Filmed Entertainment, to run Relativity Digital Studios.
Travel Channel Appoints Shannon O’Neill President of Network
Almost four months after the net announced that Laureen Ong would be stepping down from her role as prez, Travel Channel has named a new leader for its exec ranks: Shannon O’Neill. O’Neill steps into the post after spending three years as the cabler’s senior veep and chief financial officer. He will report to Burton Jablin, president of Scripps Networks operating division.
Debra Birnbaum Out as Editor of TV Guide Magazine
Debra Birnbaum has been ousted from her role as editor-in-chief of TV Guide magazine. She was let go Wednesday along with features director Carol Dittbrenner in addition to a member of the public relations team and another employee who worked in marketing. The moves come on the heels of last week’s ouster of columnist Will Keck and critic Bruce Fretts. According to sources, Birnbaum’s position was eliminated and will not be filled.
CMT named Morgan Selzer Vice President of Programming Development. Selzer comes from Style Network.
Marathon Media GM David Michel To Depart
David Michel, co-founder of and general manager of French’s leading animation production company Marathon Media is stepping down, effective March 31. 2014. Michel co-founded Marathon Media in 2001 with Vincent Chalvon, who also recently left. The two sold the company to Zodiak media in 2008. Michel had been Marathon general manager since 2007 and added a role as SVP Group Marketing for Zodiak Media in 2011.
JEFFREY L. THOMPSON
Regional News Network
Regional News Network (RNN) hired Jeffrey L. Thompson as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Business Development. Thompson was most recently Vice President of Digital Strategy & Business Development for Shout! Factory.
Cochran Promoted To CEO At WOW!
WideOpenWest (WOW!) announced that Steven Cochran is being promoted to chief executive officer from president, and that current chairwoman and CEO Colleen Abdoulah will transition into solely being chairman, effective April 1. Related to that, Cathy Kuo, the chief marketing officer, will move up to chief operating officer at the competitive triple-play provider, privately owned by Avista Capital Partners. WOW! has 800,000 customers, ranking eighth among U.S. cable operators.
Emmett/Furla/Oasis Ups Execs Tim Sullivan & Jessica Welch
The increasingly prolific Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films has promoted Tim Sullivan from development exec to director of development and Jessica Welch to production executive. She had been executive assistant at the company run by Randall Emmett and George Furla. This comes as the company follows Lone Survivor by financing/producing the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence with Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Ken Watanabe and Adam Driver.
EnergyBBDO Creative Chief Fietsam to Depart
EnergyBBDO Chief Creative Officer Dan Fietsam is leaving the agency. “It’s been a great five-and-a-half year run and Dan has contributed a great deal in terms of new business and creative accolades,” said Tonise Paul, president-CEO of the Chicago-based Omnicom shop. “I know he’ll go on to do great things.” There is no replacement yet; the agency is undergoing a seach for a new creative chief. Mr. Fietsam will depart at the end of February.
Nick Moore Out at Wunderman
We’ve received confirmation from Wunderman that Nick Moore, who has been with the agency since 2006 and has served as chief creative of the New York office of the WPP Group/Y&R agency. From what we’ve been told, and as you see below,the parting is “amicable.”
Debbie Reichig has joined TV data and ad technology company PrecisionDemand as its Chief Revenue Officer. She was previously the founder of In-Media Consulting.
Bedrocket hired Frank Kavilanz as General Manager of Partnership and Revenue. Kavilanz joins Bedrocket from NowThisNews (a partner company), and played a major role in the recent partnership with NBCUniversal News Group.
NBCU News Group Names Mark Kornblau SVP
NBCUniversal today named Mark Kornblau senior vice president, communications for the NBCUniversal News Group. He will report to Pat Fili-Krushel, chairman, NBCUniversal News Group. Kornblau succeeds Kathy Kelly-Brown who recently was tapped to lead the newly created global talent booking division for NBCUniversal. He will begin Feb. 17. In Kornblau’s new role, he will oversee the communications strategy for the NBCUniversal News Group, partnering with the communicators and business leads at NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.
20th Century Fox TV Overhauls Exec Structure, Promotes Jonathan Davis and Michael Thorn
20th Century Fox TV is reorganizing its exec ranks, promoting Jonathan Davis to president of creative affairs overseeing the studio’s comedy, drama, animation and current programming departments. Drama development chief Michael Thorn has been upped to exec VP of development, adding oversight of comedy to his purview.
Warner Bros. Promotes Two Key Staffers to Creative VP Positions
Andrew Fischel and Chantal Nong have both been promoted to vp creative development for Warner Bros. Pictures. Fischel, who worked as an assistant at Di Bonaventura Pictures before joining the studio, has been with Warner Bros. for three years and worked on The Hangover Part III and Grudge Match, as well as upcoming features Blended, with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, and Jupiter Ascending, by the Wachowskis. The Harvard Law School graduate is also working on Heart of the Sea, Ron Howard’s latest venture with Chris Hemsworth.
Google to Name Susan Wojcicki CEO of YouTube
Susan Wojcicki, one of the earliest Google employees who’s currently senior VP of ads and commerce, will become the next head of YouTube, according to reports. Wojcicki, 45, will replace Salar Kamangar, senior VP of YouTube and video, who is expected to take on a new role within Google, The Information and Re/code reported, citing anonymous sources. Google did not respond to a request for comment.
Al Roker Entertainment
Al Roker Entertainment has tapped Lauren Burger as director of development, the company announced on Feb. 4. Burger, who previously served as manager of programming and development at the Game Show Network, will oversee the company’s current roster of programming, including development, research and the acquisition of new projects and talent. Roker Creative Media, a unit of ARE, has signed a deal with John West and Obsession Meida, LLC to pursue brands for creativity and messaging.
FremantleMedia International Launches Canadian Sales Office
FremantleMedia International is launching in Canada. Former MGM exec Susan Hummel will in March start overseeing the global distribution giant’s local arm as senior vp distribution and sales at FremantleMedia Canada, based in Toronto.
FremantleMedia is looking to grow its Canadian operation in both the English and French languages, licensing product to broadcasters, pay TV, new media and digital platforms.
Buccaneer Media Hires Former Outline Exec as Head of Unscripted
Tony Wood’s Buccaneer Media, a partnership with Canada’s Cineflix Media, has named Ross McCarthy as its unscripted boss. McCarthy, a former executive producer and head of development at Outline Productions, will join Buccaneer’s London office in March as head of non-fiction fare. Wood, a former Coronation Street and Hollyoaks producer, last year launched the U.K.-based scripted TV venture with the Canadian-based producer and distributor.
AwesomenessTV Hires Kelly Day as Chief Digital Officer
AwesomenessTV, the youth-skewing digital entertainment arm of DreamWorks Animation, has hired former Blip Networks CEO Kelly Day in the newly created position of chief digital officer. Day will oversee AwesomenessTV’s multichannel network and will be responsible for increasing distribution of AwesomenessTV and its partners’ content across all digital platforms and into international markets. She will report to Brett Bouttier, chief operations officer.
Adviser Hired to Launch NY, Philly Stations
PMCM TV LLC, the owner of the new full-power TV stations in New York and Philadelphia, have hired a “senior management adviser” to help get the stations off the ground as affiliates of Me-TV this spring, according to that adviser. In an email, Dave Ward said he will “focus on branding, marketing, social media, launch and sustained promotion … amongst many other assignments” for KVNV New York and KJWP Philadelphia. Ward said no decision has been made on a permanent manager or managers for the stations. He said he will be “on site” starting Feb. 17.
AWE/One America News Network
Ann Schick has been appointed VP of affiliate relations for AWE and One America News Network, announced parent company Herring Networks, Inc. on Jan. 3. Schick most recently served as director of consumer acquisition and marketing at Verizon. Prior to that, she was director of affiliate sales and marketing at Starz Encore Group.
Holly Shelton Launches Management Firm
Veteran talent representative Holly Shelton has started her own company, Holly Shelton Management. Among those following her are Michael Bowen (Breaking Bad), Patty Duke, Alex Frnka, (The Inbetweeners), Aaron Hill (Twisted), Jazz Raycole (Soul Man), Lisa Locicero (General Hospital), Peter Mackenzie (Hart Of Dixie) and Graham Shiels (Arrow). Shelton most recently was a manager at the Marshak/Zachary Co. and did stints as an agent and manager before that.
Producer Jojo Ryder To Head Akon’s Konlive Productions
Jojo Ryder and Akon have been collaborators for years, and now Ryder will head the multihyphenate’s company. Ryder, whose producing credits include the VH1 series For The Love Of Ray J and Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business, has been named president of Konlive Productions. “Jojo is a producer in every sense of the word,” said Akon, Konlive’s owner and CEO.
Ogilvy Channels Paris ECD to Head Up East Coast Ops
Sources familiar with the matter tell us that Chris Garbutt, who has been with Ogilvy & Mather for the past seven years, has joined up with the WPP-owned East Coast operations, has joined up to head up its East Coast U.S. operations. Prior to this time at O&M, Garbutt worked for several years at TBWA\Paris and South African-based TBWA\Hunt Lascaris. We’ll await for a statement soon from Ogilvy on the matter. From what we’ve been told, Garbutt will be moving to the agency by year’s end.
TAKAHITO “TAKA” AIKI
Ebook company Kobo replaces its CEO with exec from Japanese parent company Rakuten
Canadian ebook company Kobo, which was acquired by Japanese retail giant Rakuten in 2011, is replacing its founder and CEO Michael Serbinis with a Japanese executive, the company announced Tuesday. Takahito “Taka” Aiki, who was the CEO of Rakuten’s telecom company Fusion Communications, steps into the new role effective immediately, while Serbinis remains involved with the company as vice chairman.
Coleman Breland Named President Of Turner Network Sales
Coleman Breland has been named president of Turner Network Sales it was announced today by David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Breland is based in Atlanta and reports to Levy. Additionally, Richard Warren has been promoted to executive vice president of negotiations & strategy and associate general counsel, and Jennifer Mirgorod has been elevated to executive vice president of brand distribution, both reporting to Breland.
Cristina Schwarz was named President and General Manager of Telemundo 47/WNJU, and Liliana Aristizabal was promoted to Vice President of Sales for the station. Schwarz was most recently Vice President of Univision Cable Networks. Aristizabal is a 15-year Telemundo veteran.
Telemundo Taps Rivas-Vazquez as D.C. News Chief
Telemundo Media on Monday named A. Victoria Rivas-Vázquez Noticias Telemundo bureau chief in Washington. In her new role, Rivas-Vázquez reports to Noticias Telemundo SVP Sylvia Rosabal. Rivas-Vázquez’s appointment is part of the expansion of Noticias Telemundo that has included additional on-camera and production talent, new studio space and an enhanced relationship with NBC News.
Microsoft Names Satya Nadella as CEO to Transform PC Pioneer
Microsoft Corp. named Satya Nadella chief executive officer, tapping an insider steeped in business technology to speed turnaround at a software maker that helped usher in the personal-computing age only to be left behind as the world shifted toward the Web and mobile devices. Nadella will replace Steve Ballmer effective immediately after a five-month search, Microsoft said in a statement today. Bill Gates, the company’s first CEO, will step aside as chairman and devote more time to product development, while remaining on the board and running his philanthropic foundation. John Thompson, the board member who led the CEO search, becomes chairman.
WVIT Hartford Names Matt Piacente News VP
NBC-owned WVIT Hartford, Conn. (DMA 30), on Monday named Matt Piacente VP of news. He joins the station from NBC’s WMAQ Chicago. For the past 15 years, Piacente has been a newsroom leader at WMAQ in several roles, including executive producer of news and special projects and his most recent post as manager of news and content development. In addition, he has held key producer positions at Chicago’s WLS, WGN and CLTV.
Entravision Ups Luisa Collins to News VP
Entravision Communications Corp. on Monday announced that the company has appointed Luisa Collins VP of news, social affairs and wellness, effective Feb. 10, based in Los Angeles. In her new position, Collins will oversee news content and be responsible for quality control across Entravision’s 25 television stations that currently air local news coverage. She will also be responsible for expanding the Entravision brand by developing increased content for the news websites.
Producer/distributor MarVista Entertainment promoted Sharon Borda to Executive Vice President Production and Development, from Senior Vice President, and appointed Michael McGahey as Vice President, Development & Production for Scripted Series. McGahey had been Vice President, Development at Disney Television Animation.
Red Wagon Hires Nicki Cortese As VP Film And Television
Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher’s Red Wagon Entertainment has hired former Weed Road Pictures exec Nicki Cortese as VP Film and Television. The former ICMer spent the past five years at Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road. She will work closely with Red Wagon creative executive Charlie Morrison.
SpinMedia Gets New Investors, Hires New CRO
SpinMedia Group, a publisher of celebrity and entertainment sites, today announced that it’s lined up new investors and hired sales vet Tom Morrissy as chief revenue officer as it attempts to put its struggling financial past behind it. The company has lately made headlines for laying off staff and shutting down the print magazine editions of Spin and Vibe; the staff of 165 is down from more than 250 last September.
Kbs+ Toronto named Matt Hassell their Chief Creative Officer. Hassell had been CCO of OgilvyOne.
Rieder: BuzzFeed’s investigative unit coming together
BuzzFeed’s investigative reporting unit is coming together. The site best known for its offbeat lists and dead-on sense of the digitally viral hired Mark Schoofs away from the highly regarded investigative site ProPublica to launch its unit. And Schoofs, who started work at the beginning of the year, has signed up three investigative reporters. BuzzFeed on Monday announced the hiring of the third one, Aram Roston, who won a couple of Emmys when he worked for NBC News. Roston, whose specialty is national security, also worked for CNN and ABC and is the author of a book on the controversial Iraqi political figure Ahmad Chalabi.
Almin Karamehmedovic Named ‘Nightline’ Exec Producer
Almin Karamehmedovic has been named executive producer of Nightline, ABC News announced this morning. Current EP Jeanmarie Condon has been named senior exec producer of content and development for the news division. Both execs will report to James Goldston, ABC’s senior vice president of news. Condon will develop a range of special projects and series for broadcast, digital and cable, focusing on enterprise reporting and on the division-wide deep dive journalism she is known for spearheading, ABC President Ben Sherwood said in this morning’s announcement. She will continue to oversee Nightline Primetime.
Sony Pictures Promotes Dealmaking Exec
Sony Pictures has promoted Lumumba Mosquera to senior vp business affairs. Mosquera negotiates rights, talent, co-financing, first-look, and related motion picture deals on behalf of the studio. Mosquera will now have a particular focus on TriStar Productions, the newly revived film label run by Tom Rothman whose goal is to produce around four movies a year. “Lu has consistently demonstrated savvy negotiating skills throughout his entire tenure at Columbia,” said Andrew Gumpert, Sony’s president worldwide business affairs and operations.
Endemol North America Hires Jacob Shwirtz to Lead Social Media for Internet Video Push
Jacob Shwirtz, formerly head of social TV at Viacom’s MTV Networks, will join Endemol North America as chief social media officer for its Internet-video division, Endemol Beyond USA. The global TV production firm last fall created Endemol Beyond USA, pledging to invest $40 million in original content, and hired former Maker Studios exec Will Keenan as president of the division.
JAMES G. BROWN, JR.
Revolt made four hires: James G. Brown, Jr. will serve as Executive Vice President of Content Distribution and Marketing; Angela Turner is the net’s new Vice President of Affiliate Marketing; Kenny Burns was tapped for the position of Vice President of Marketing, and Angela Northington joins as Vice President of Content Licensing and Acquisition. Said Andy Schuon, Revolt President and co-founder, “Our new teams in distribution and marketing are essential to building on the momentum that was created since our launch last year.”
Keith Lorizio Out at Microsoft
Veteran sales executive Keith Lorizio is out at Microsoft. The company has not provided a reason for his ouster. But according to sources, Lorizio’s departure was not voluntary, and was immediate. Lorizio has been with Microsoft since 2006. Microsoft issued the following statement: “We can confirm that Keith Lorizio, vp of U.S. sales for Microsoft Advertising, is no longer with the company. Barry Dougan, gm of global specialist sales, will assume interim leadership of the U.S. ad sales organization while we conduct a rigorous and thoughtful search for a permanent replacement.”
Tom Lieber Departs Universal Cable Prods, Joins ‘Dominion’ As Producer
I’ve learned that Universal Cable Prods. VP Tom Lieber is leaving the company. Under UCP’s previous management structure, development was split to three areas — projects for USA, overseen by SVP Richard Rothstein, for Syfy, headed by Lieber, and for outside networks, run by SVP Maira Suro, who left a year ago. In the recent restructuring, veteran producer Dawn Parouse Olmstead (Prison Break) was brought in to lead UCP’s development team as the studio is ramping up operations under Jeff Wachtel, President and Chief Content Officer at NBCU Cable Entertainment, while Rothstein was put in charge of the studio’s current scripted series. Lieber is leaving to join Syfy/UCP’s drama Dominion, which he had been shepherding for the studio.
‘Call Me Fitz’ Producer Hires New Execs To Lead Transformation
Canadian indie producer Amaze Film + Television has unveiled key hires as it looks to bump up its production and development slates in 2014. Veteran producer Victoria Hirst (American Psycho, Century Hotel) becomes executive in charge of production, while Tara Woodbury boards as director of development. Hirst most recently produced the Canadian kids series Mr. Young in Vancouver for Thunderbird Films. Amaze Film, which co-produces the Jason Priestley-starrer Call Me Fitz and has a first look deal with Entertainment One, is shortly to start production on an un-named TV series in late March.
OpenJar Concepts promoted Tony Young to Vice President, Network. Young had been Director of the Jar Network.
ABC’s Anthony Anderson/Kenya Barris Pilot Taps Larry Wilmore As Showrunner
What do you do when you have a show about what it means to be black in today’s society that is in a need of a showrunner? You turn to an expert. ABC’s untitled Anthony Anderson/Kenya Barris comedy pilot (formerly Black-ish) has tapped The Daily Show’s senior black correspondent Larry Wilmore as executive producer/showrunner.