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US Media & Comm management moves through Oct. 4: Verizon, Sony, EPIX


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US Media & Comm management moves through Oct. 4: Verizon, Sony, EPIX

Media industry moves

* Cedar Fair LP d/b/a Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. tapped Richard Zimmerman, its president and COO, to be its new CEO, the company said Oct. 4. Zimmerman will succeed Matt Ouimet, who will assume the newly created position of executive chairman of the board.

* Former FOX Sports 1 (US) host Katie Nolan is joining Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN (US). Nolan will appear across multiple platforms in a variety of projects, according to an Oct. 4 post by ESPN Nolan recently hosted "Garbage Time with Katie Nolan" at the 21st Century Fox Inc. sports unit.

* Live Nation Entertainment Inc. acquired Salt Lake City-based local promoter United Concerts Inc., according to an Oct. 4 news release. United Concerts CEO Jim McNeil will serve as president of US Concerts – Salt Lake City. He will oversee all local operations, reporting to Bob Roux, co-president of North America Concerts at Live Nation.

* Tim Wesolowski is stepping down as executive vice president and CFO of E.W. Scripps Co., the company said Oct. 3. E.W. Scripps tapped Chief Strategy Officer Lisa Knutson to serve as interim CFO while the company looks for a permanent replacement. Wesolowski had served as finance chief since September 2011.

* Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC Deputy President John (Tsuyoshi) Kodera was appointed president and CEO of the Sony Corp. unit. Kodera replaces Andrew House, who will remain as the company's chairman through the year to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities, according to Sony's Oct. 3 statement. The newly appointed CEO will also become the representative director and president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc., Sony Interactive's Japan-based legal entity. House will also be taking over as director and chairman of the same unit and will resign as the executive vice president and corporate executive officer of Sony Corp.

* CBS Corp. fired a legal executive over her comments on social media on the Las Vegas shooting victims, The Wrap reported Oct. 2. Hayley Geftman-Gold, who was senior counsel for strategic transactions at CBS, reportedly wrote on social media that she is "not even sympathetic" to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Geftman-Gold also referred to country music fans as "Republican gun toters." A CBS representative reportedly said the company condemned the executive's comments.

* Uber Technologies Inc.'s Northern European Manager Jo Bertram is leaving the company, following a recent decision by London transport authorities to strip Uber of its license to operate a taxi service, Reuters reported Oct. 2, citing an internal email. Bertram cited "current challenges" and said the company needed someone who would be here for the "long haul and take us into the next phase." Uber's London boss Tom Elvidge will take over Bertram's responsibilities on an interim basis.

* Chris Wesser stepped down as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Professional Diversity Network Inc. The company said Sept. 29 that it entered into a consultancy agreement with Wesser, pursuant to which he will continue to provide consulting services to the company on an independent contractor basis.

* Connie Orlando was officially appointed executive vice president, head of programming of BET (US), Multichannel News reported Sept. 28. Orlando was named interim head of programming in March after Stephen Hill stepped down as president of programming of the Viacom Inc.-owned network. She previously was senior vice president for specials, music programming and news. Orlando will oversee BET News as well as the original programming, music programming and specials teams responsible for creating, developing, and producing content across the network.

* EPIX (US) President and CEO Mark Greenberg is leaving the premium TV network, following the completion of EPIX's integration into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., Variety reported Sept. 29, citing a statement from the executive. Monty Sarhan, executive vice president of programming, strategy and enterprises, will manage the service on an interim basis, while the company sets up a new management structure. Greenberg joined EPIX in 2008.

* Joseph Rostock joined comScore Inc. in the newly created position of chief information officer, the company said Sept. 28. Also, the company tapped Yvonne Bigbee to be the permanent chief technology officer of the company. Bigbee, who joined comScore in 2001, has been serving as tech chief on a temporary basis since July. Rostock previously served Inovalon Holdings as chief technology officer.

Communications industry moves

* Marni Walden will step down as Verizon Communications Inc.'s executive vice president and president of global media, effective Dec. 31. Following that date, she will report to Verizon CEO and Chairman Lowell McAdam as a strategic adviser and will leave the company in February 2018, according to an Oct. 4 SEC filing.

* Private equity firm GTCR LLC struck a partnership with Phil Spencer and Rod Siemers to form Mega Broadband Investments LLC, according to an Oct. 2 news release. Based in Leawood, Kan., the new company will focus on acquiring broadband assets. GTCR, along with Spencer and Siemers, will invest in Mega Broadband Investments. Spencer's leadership team includes Siemers as CFO.

* Charter Communications Inc. is building a new 500,000-square-foot headquarters in Stamford, Conn., the company said Oct. 3. The 15-story facility at the Gateway Harbor Point site is expected to be ready for occupation by employees in 2019. Charter has committed to create an additional 1,100 new corporate headquarters jobs.

* Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai appointed Eric Burger chief technology officer of the agency, according to an Oct. 2 news release. Burger will advise Pai and the FCC on technology and engineering issues, along with the Office of Engineering and Technology. He succeeds Henning Schulzrinne, who returned to Columbia University. Burger most recently was director of the Security and Software Engineering Research Center in Washington, D.C. He has also held senior engineering and technology positions in various telecom companies.