Media industry moves
* former Discovery Communications Inc. executive Arjan Hoekstra tooversee the expansion of the Viceland(US) network across the European market, TBI Vision reported April 5, citing a statement. Hoekstra, who willbecome general manager of Europe at Vice, previously oversaw Discovery Asia.
* unit News America Marketingnamed Heidi Gray chiefhuman resources officer, the company said April 5. She will be responsible for developinga strategic framework to translate NAM's business strategies into actionable HRpriorities. Gray, a member of the NAM team for 27 years, was previously the company'sexecutive vice president of sales in the central division.
* MarcLefar joined as president and CEO,the company said April 4. Lefar, previously CEO of Vonage Holdings Corp., currently serves on the boards ofClassPass and IPC Systems, as well as on the U.S. President's National SecurityTelecommunications Advisory Board. Kim Payne, who has been serving as interim CEOof the company, will resume her longtime role as CFO.
* tapped Katherine Butkevichto serve as the company's new CEO, according to an April 4 news release. She hasbeen leading the company's National Association of Professional Women unit sinceJan. 4. Butkevich succeeded Jim Kirsch, who became executive chairman with directmanagement responsibility for the company's recruitment assets. Meanwhile, JorgePerez, senior vice president and prior manager of Professional Diversity Network'srecruitment assets, has left the company.
* ThomasStaggs will step downas COO of Walt Disney Co.,just after a little more than a year in the position, the company said April 4.Staggs, who was named Disney's operating chief in February 2015, will continue toserve the company as special adviser to CEO Bob Iger through the current fiscalyear. Staggs joined Disney in 1990 as manager of strategic planning and previouslyserved as CFO. The company did not disclose the reason behind the move. Many believedStaggs was being groomed to become Iger's successor. Meanwhile, Disney used thestatement as an opportunity to also address succession planning for CEO Iger.
* Mediaand publishing executive Eric Thorkilsen and TZP Growth Partners I LP, a New York-basedprivate equity fund and part of the TZP Group, struck a deal to acquire This Old House Ventures LLC and all of its associatedmedia properties from Time Inc.,according to an April 1 news release. This Old House Ventures will manage all ofits own core business functions, including original television production, digitalcontent and operations, advertising sales, magazine editorial, brand licensing andmarketing from its new headquarters in Stamford, Conn., beginning summer 2016. TimeInc. will remain involved with the lifestyle brand through long-term service agreementswith the new owners to provide back-office operations. As part of the transition,This Old House magazine will now be helmedby Susan Wyland as editor-in-chief. Scott Omelianuk, This Old House's editor, is leaving the brand to pursue a new opportunityin the television space. The new senior management team will also include CFO JoeBrady, Chief Revenue Officer Michael Burton, Chief Digital Officer Michael Gutkowski,and Chris Wolfe, as executive producer, ThisOld House and Ask This Old House and general manager, This Old House Productions.
Communications industry moves
* its $10.54 billion of 's local landlineassets, operations and businesses in California, Florida and Texas, according toan April 1 news release. About 9,400 Verizon employees, who served customers inthese states, will also join Frontier as part of the transaction.