January 10, 2014
Comings & Goings – Highlights of 2013 Part 2
By Kaylee Hultgren
There have been plenty of comings and goings in the cable world this year, and it’s been a ton of fun reporting on them. From marathon runners to ukulele players to cable execs who dislike celery, there’s no shortage of special talents possessed by this elite group of professionals. As a year-end roundup, we decided to highlight a few of the most memorable we’ve come across throughout the year. We gave you Part 1
last week; here’s Part 2. Happy reading!
Following News Corp’s purchase of a 49%-stake in YES Network, Ed Delaney is moving from the Yanks net to FOX Sports, as evp, operations, a newly created position. He’ll report to FOX Sports co-presidents & COOs, Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. Delaney’s experience will be leveraged for the upcoming national sports net FS1. His last position at YES was svp, broadcast operations & engineering. In his new post, he’ll oversee all technical aspects of remote and studio operations. Before YES, Delaney was director of broadcast operations and technology at NFL Enterprises, vp, operations at The Baseball Network and also a senior production exec at ABC Sports.
Ed is proud of his son Eddie, and rightly so: He was a three-time All-Conference football defensive end at the University of Albany and, after his senior year, won the Maxwell Football Club’s Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award, alongside former Stanford star QB Andrew Luck. He might get it from his dad. As a high school football player at St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia, Ed played in the Philadelphia City Championship (and won) at the old, since demolished, Veterans Stadium. He played in canvas Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers because the old artificial turf was like playing on cement. Quite a thrill for a high school kid, he says. Lastly, in the early ‘80s he and his family participated in the original “Family Feud,” hosted by Richard Dawson. It was Ed’s sister, Kim Delaney, an actress on the soap “All My Children” at the time, who was anchoring the family. They competed against John Stamos, who played for “General Hospital.”
Comedy Central has tapped Christian McLaughlin as vp of specials. His responsibilities include the net’s current specials, stand-up series, events and development in the New York department. He comes from Bravo, where he held the vp, production role since 2010. Before that was an executive producer in development and production at VH1, and did a stint on “The Howard Stern Radio Show” as supervising producer. Additional production credits include “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “The Caroline Rhea Show” and a writer/producer gig at local New York City outlet WNBC. You may not know that when Christian was 8 years old, he performed with the Stuttgart Ballet & the National Ballet of Canada at Lincoln Center. Four years later he was arrested on the #7 train in Queens for telling jokes over the conductor’s loudspeaker.
Coming to the network from BBC Worldwide, where she was pres, BBC Worldwide Networks & global BBC iPlayer, Bennett is charged with oversight of development, strategy, marketing and branding for Bio and LMN. She also held the director, BBC Vision/Television post as well as evp, gm of TLC Network and Discovery Pictures. Jana, we learned, was once given a medal, “an Order of the British Empire,” by the Queen herself for a science TV series. “I had to learn to curtsey and walk backwards so I didn't turn my back on Her Majesty,” she says. What’s more, she might be the only network exec who has crossed the Atlantic in an iron ore freighter. When she was 14, her family took a year off to see Europe—and ran out of money to get back. “We were paying guests of the captain on a Dutch freighter coming from Holland and landed 1,000 miles from home in New Hampshire up the St Lawrence seaway!” It was a long drive to the border, she says. Lastly, her love of mountains took her to one of the highest peaks in the Andes: Huana Potosi, in Bolivia. She went without guides (or her husband) and proceeded to get lost in the jungle—until rescued by a Japanese hermit living there.
Scripps has appointed Jennifer Leitman as svp, marketing and creative services for Great American Country. She’s charged with leading consumer, creative and on-air marketing promotions, including repositioning the network as a country lifestyle brand. Previously, she was vp, marketing and creative services for Scripps’ home category, comprised of HGTV and DIY Network. She joined the company in 2004. For Jennifer’s first TV gig she wore a Bugs Bunny costume at a county fair. “I felt claustrophobic and had to rip the head off before I fainted," she says. And if she wasn’t in TV? She loves Jackson Hole, Wyo., and would open up a pedicure/coffee shop on the square there. “Drinking a latte and getting my toes done by a warm fire with a great book sounds perfect." Her greatest celebrity siting was seeing Jake Gyllenhaal in a store in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. “I was so nervous, [being] only a few feet from him,” she says. It had quite an effect on her, though. To commemorate the experience she bought a funky silver ring from the store, which she refers to as her "Jake ring.”
Quinn Brown has been appointed executive producer for CMT. Oversight of production on the network’s hosted news and entertainments shows falls under his purview. Brown was instrumental in the launch of Fuse TV’s “Fuse News” with TV producer Rick Kaplan, was a field producer at the Grammys and Brit Awards and also led the show’s Franchises unit. Other previous positions include producing for ABC News’ “World News with Diane Sawyer” and Nigel Lythgoe’s “Opening Act” on E!. Brown also worked for more than 10 years at CNN as a producer on “Larry King Live” and a contributor for CNN.com. While at CNN he won an Emmy for the network’s 9/11 coverage and has received numerous Peabody Awards.
Though he’s produced for top names in the business, some of Quinn’s favorite work entailed branching out on his own and doing stories on musicians and festivals with the help of a “miniscule—but exceptionally talented—production team,” he tells us. “Through that I was able to interview and do stories on heroes of mine growing up, like Levon Helm, Pearl Jam, Iggy Pop and many more. I’ll never forget those experiences.” He also points out that music journalism is overrun with musicians with failed bands. “I am no exception,” he admits. When he lived in Washington, DC, he had a few different bands of his own. One was called “Marginal Kings.” “When you start off with a bad name, how much better can the music be?!” he muses. Quinn was the vocalist and guitar player. Will we ever get to see him play? Not likely. “Aside from my wedding (the inevitable reunion show), the only time you will ever hear me participate in live music is by a fire pit with my brother-in-law. Let’s leave it to the experts!”
Barbara Burge, a 50-year veteran of customer service in the industry, has announced her retirement. She leaves behind the post of gm, Cable ONE Atlas, OK. Burge began her career at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1962 as a service representative, followed by a promotion to business office supervisor in Lawton, OK. It was in 1992 when she joined Cable ONE (then known as Post Newsweek Cable) as office manager for Altus, OK, and in 2010, she became the Altus gm. Her numerous accolades include “KWHW All American of the Year,” “Honorary Commander for the Altus Air Force Base,” and the “Special Person” award from the City of Altus. On her next chapter Barbara told us, “After the 'honey do' jobs are completed, I will be looking for the perfect job where I can choose my hours, have fun, meet the public and help people. I’m also looking forward to attending the meetings of local groups that I’m involved in, traveling with my husband, and together being the best ‘Nana B’ & ‘Papa D’ to our grandson.” More about Barbara: She plays the piano for personal enjoyment and for her local church. And she collects decorative owls—currently the count's at 300! She’ll officially retire Friday, April 26. There will be a come-and-go reception for her on April 22, 2-4pm, at Cable ONE, which is located at 618 N. Main in Altus. The community is invited to attend and wish her well in her retirement.
Aldo Casartelli’s new position at Cable One is vp, New Products and Business Development. In this capacity he’ll develop new products, emerging technologies and business opportunities. A 23-year veteran of the company, Casartelli held roles including vp, Customer Experience and vp, Internet Services. Fun fact about Aldo: At age 16, he was an FCC-Licensed radio deejay on nights and weekends throughout high school. His stage name was “Al Ryder,” which he thought would be simpler to remember. His passion, he tells us, is learning languages. He has studied several traditional spoken languages in addition to computer programming languages—12 in total!
Marc Fein has joined Sportsman Channel in the newly created position of evp, Programming & Production. Fein has worked in network TV for 20 years, most recently as founder and president of a TV sports and entertainment consulting firm. Before that he worked for 7 years as an exec in the Comcast Programming Group. He held the role of svp, Programming, Production and Business Operations for Versus (now NBC Sports Network), where he assisted in Outdoor Life Network’s transition to Versus, upping the distribution from 58 million to 75 million. Fein also served as vp, Programming and Acquisitions for FOX Sports Net and started his career at Rainbow Media/Cablevision. Marc tells us that in college he was a play-by-play announcer for his college radio station. He called it St. John’s Red Storm basketball. His big phrase on a breakaway dunk? "Get out the toast because here comes the jam!"
Also, he wrote a rap song as a youngster. Apparently he didn't do anything with it, but he does have it safely filed away. Lastly, although he generally tries to eat healthy, if put to the test he’s confident he can out eat anyone in the following categories: ribs, pizza and donuts.
ESPN has promoted Kevin Martinez to vp, Corporate Outreach. Previously, he was senior director. He’ll head up the net’s corporate outreach programs including corporate giving, cause marketing and volunteering. A new task of will be focusing on The V Foundation for Cancer Research partnership and its fundraisers. Before joining ESPN in 2010, Martinez was executive director, Corporate Social Responsibility for KPMG. He also served as president of The Home Depot Foundation, senior manager, Community Affairs for Starbucks Coffee and manager of national community and civic affairs for Eddie Bauer.
A fascinating fact about Kevin: In 1981, at University of Washington’s Homecoming against Stanford, he helped create a cheer that has now “flowed” around the world. That’s right, we're talking about The Wave. “There are a couple of dissenters, but no one has been able to prove that they used the fans to create a wave before that day,” he tells us. “Rob Weller, a former UW Yell King and host of Entertainment Tonight, started the wave going up the stands and with help from the Husky Marching Band and cheerleaders created the first use of the wave moving horizontally.” When he’s not inventing cheers, he’s likely painting with wax. Two years ago, Kevin began learning a process called encaustic painting, which began in Egypt 2,500 years ago “by painting the heads of mummies to help seal the mummy and paint a realistic face of the diseased,” he says. “My first painting is of a horse. It is halfway done and has 23 coats of wax.”
YES Network promoted Joe Capobianco to Director, National Sales. He’ll work with Home Team Sports, the network’s national sales rep, and keep up relationships with major national clients. Prior to joining YES, Capobianco was an account exec at WPIX-TV in New York and a sales manager at MMT Sales in New York, a division of Cox Enterprises. He also served as account executive for FOX Television Sales. Joe’s life is consumed by his “3-year-old twin demon children,” he tells us. Hobbies include boxing, to “alleviate stress caused by 3-year-old demon children.” He works on 3 hours of sleep per night, thanks to said demons, and has no social life to speak of. Why? You guessed it. 3-year-old demon children.
CMT has hired Katie Buchanan as svp, Program, Planning and Scheduling. She’ll head up the program scheduling and acquisitions, as well as content strategy and distribution on CMT and its digital and mobile platforms. Buchanan worked at The Style Network for 10 years, most recently as svp, Programming & Acquisitions. She also worked with VH1’s West Coast Original Movie & Series, where she developed made-for-TV movies. Katie’s favorite thing to cook is pancakes. (Awesome.) Her hobbies are running, dancing, Starbucks and “ordering photos online that I never get printed.” She joins the ranks of this week’s crop on the running front. She’s run 2 marathons. Also, she fell off a catamaran in Cancun once and almost floated away.
In Demand has hired Tony Dunaif as svp, Digital Products. In the newly created post he’ll oversee digital initiatives for multiplatform transactional content and also head up the development of new products and services. Dunaif came from HeathiNation, where he was svp, Syndication and Strategic Partnerships. Before that he held the CMO post at Inform Technologies and also worked at Internet Broadcasting as GM of its Media Network and svp, Market Development. Other companies on his resume include Brightcove and MTV Networks. Fun story about Tony: After deciding to go to graduate school in Barcelona to get his MBA, he and his wife embarked on a 10-day journey to get there—by traveling to Europe via a working, Polish container ship. They subsequently became lifelong friends with the Third Mate and his family, and even named their daughter after the shipman’s wife.
Joe Waz has rejoined Comcast as Senior Strategic Advisor in public policy and external affairs. After a semi-retirement in 2011, Waz remained a consultant for Comcast and the cable industry. He has been a Senior Fellow at the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also is the founding Chair of the Broadband Internet Technology Advisory Group (BITAG). Fun fact about Joe: He has played the accordion for more than 50 years. Additionally, he recently created the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music in honor of his late wife (Ann) to commission new contemporary choral music, which was a passion of hers. (For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org
). Joe has been a lifelong UConn Huskies basketball fan. He’s followed the team since 5th