March 16, 2014
Comedian David Brenner, who holds the record for most appearances on NBC’s “Tonight Show,” died over the weekend in his home at age 78 after battling cancer. Brenner was a favorite of former “Tonight” host Johnny Carson, and he reportedly appeared on the show 158 times beginning in the 1970s. Brenner’s death generated lots of sentiment from fellow comics through social media, including a tweet by Paul Reiser that read in part, “He was such a huge part of why so many of us became comics. This makes me very sad.”
Starcom USA has made a number of recent promotions, including Brenda White to executive vice president and Jeffrey Pray, Colleen Leahy and Trina Potter to senior vice presidents. The agency has also promoted nine to vice presidents: Kira Clifton, Jonathan Haynes, Zach Isaacs, Lindsay Leon-Atkins, Amanda Lombardi, Brooke McCaughrin, Colleen Robson and Gumala Steel in Chicago, and Anne Sas in New York.
Hearst Magazines has named Cameron Connors publisher of Popular Mechanics magazine, effective March 20. Connors was most recently president and PAPER Magazine and ExtraExtra.
Peter Aronson has been named executive vice president of original programming and production at IFC, working in the network’s Los Angeles office. Aronson was previously executive vice president at Alloy Digital.
Discovery Communications has promoted Jane Latman, naming her general manager for Discovery Fit & Health. Latman will also continue in her role as senior vice president of development for Investigation Discovery.
VH1 has named Nina Diaz senior vice president of East Coast production and development, working with unscripted projects. Diaz had been senior vice president and head of current production at Left/Right Productions.
USA has added Anne Heche to the cast of its upcoming six-episode series “Dig,” to air in late 2014. Heche will play the head of the FBI’s Jerusalem office.
Clear Channel has formed a new major markets operating group, and the company made a handful of promotions to lead the group’s four divisions. As a part of the move, Hartley Adkins and Tom McConnell have been named executive vice presidents, Kelly Kibler senior vice president and Greg Ashlock president for Southern California. In addition, president of operations for major markets Tom Schurr has left the company.
Joel Brinkley, a journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for international reporting while with The Louisville Courier-Journal, died last week at age 61 after dealing with acute undiagnosed leukemia. Brinkley, the son of longtime TV anchor David Brinkley, also worked with the Associated Press and New York Times during his career.
Bob Thomas, a longtime Hollywood journalist who covered 66 Academy Awards ceremonies, died last week in his home at age 92. Thomas wrote for the Associated Press, and he was also author of 22 books, two of which were turned into TV movies.
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