Dennis Swanson is named VP and COO of Viacom's TV group; Hallmark Entertainment picks Michael Oesterlin to head international sales; Sundance Channel hires Christian Vesper to head up ancillary rights
July 18, 2002

Dennis Swanson is joining the Viacom television group as executive VP and chief operating officer. Swanson was previously head of WNBC-TV in New York . Viacom owns 39 TV stations, including NBC rival CBS.

Hallmark Entertainment has named Michael Oesterlin as director of international sales. Based in London, Oesterlin will oversee programming sales for French-speaking territories, Turkey, Russia, and for video sales worldwide. Oesterlin was previously sales executive for Warner Bros. International Television.

Sundance Channel has named Christian Vesper executive director of ancillary rights acquisitions. Vesper was previously director of film programming at HBO.

Rick Holzman has been appointed senior VP of the newly-created Strategic Research Group, part of the Universal Television Group. Holzman will work to identify new programming and distribution opportunities for Universal. He was formerly VP, research and planning, for USA Network.

L.A.-based Lifetime Television has promoted two of its distribution executives: Tracy Barrett, formerly director, affiliate advertising sales and marketing has been named VP of the same unit, while Andie Kallinger, previously manager, affiliate ad sales and distrib marketing has been promoted to director, also within the same unit.

Steve Tao is set to leave his post as senior VP programming for VH1. Tao joined VH1 in June after working in development at New Line TV.

NATPE has added two new members to its board of directors: Emerson Coleman, VP of programming at Hearst-Argyle Television Inc., and Stephen Davis, president and CEO of Carlton America.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.