December 5, 2012
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, the mother of News Corp. chief executive Rupert Murdoch, died on Wednesday in her home in Melbourne, Australia, at age 103. Murdoch was known as a philanthropist, supporting more than 100 charities following her husband's death in 1952. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1963 for her social services work.
Bob Barocci, president and chief executive officer at the Advertising Research Foundation, is retiring from his position at the end of the year and will stay on as a senior advisor until his replacement is named in the spring. Barocci joined the ARF in 2003.
Digital media agency Mediasmith has promoted Griselda Fernandez, naming her vice president and media director. Fernandez joined the agency last year, and she's also previously worked at Universal McCann, Zenith Optimedia, DraftFCB and OMD.
Social media agency Social@Ogilvy has made two hires, naming Lori Dicker executive vice president and group director and Liz Taylor senior vice president and executive creative director. Dicker was most recently at Moxie/ZenithOptimedia, while Taylor has previously worked at Ogilvy & Mather, R/GA and Razorfish.
The Weather Company has made two promotions, naming Jennifer Dangar president of distribution and business development and Cameron Clayton president of the digital division. Dangar joined the company in 2010, Clayton in 2004.
ITV Studios America has brought in Rob Shaftel, naming him senior vice president of development for the East Coast. Shaftel was most recently vice president of development at Leftfield Pictures.
New Wave Entertainment, which produces shows including E!'s "Pretty Wild," has named Jack Vaughn senior vice president of production and distribution. Vaugh previously ran Viacom's Comedy Central Records.
Brian Conlon has been named vice president of worldwide acquisitions at Mance Media, a TV production and distribution company. Conlon most recently worked in acquisitions at Halogen TV.
TNT has cast Sean Bean in the lead role of its upcoming drama "Legends," replacing Brendan Fraser, who left the project due to creative differences. Bean most recently appeared on HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Former "Seinfeld" actor Michael Richards has joined the cast of TV Land's sitcom pilot "Giant Baby," which stars former "Cheers" actresses Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman. Richards will play the limo driver for Alley's character, a Broadway star.
Another former "Seinfeld" actor, Jason Alexander, is returning to NBC, although for just one night. Alexander is set to guest on an episode of "Community," which premieres its fourth season on Feb. 7. There's no word yet what character Alexander will play, but he tweeted on Tuesday that he's "Filming a crazy episode."
The panel of judges for the 2013 Miss America competition was revealed on Wednesday morning, and it includes gymnast and "Fierce Five" member McKayla Maroney. Others scheduled to judge the competition on ABC include fashion designer and Oprah.com contributor Bradley Bayou, "Dancing with the Stars" dancer Cheryl Burke, ABC News weather editor Sam Champion, former "Entertainment Tonight" host Mary Hart, "Shark Tank" star Daymond John and 2009 Miss America Katie Stam Irk. The competition will air on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 9 p.m.
NBC News has named Peter Alexander White House correspondent, covering the president alongside Chuck Todd and Kristen Welker. Alexander has been with NBC since 2004, most recently in charge of the network's coverage of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.
ABC has added Justin Bruening to the cast of "Grey's Anatomy" in a recurring role as a paramedic. Bruening, who previously appeared on "Ringer," will make his first appearance on "Grey's" in either January or February.
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